Speaking in an exclusive interview with Vietnam Economic Times, Mr Dung said the nation’s automobile market in 2018 witnessed positive signs in spite of a number of challenges and difficulties. Although during the second and third quarters of 2018 the supply source of imported cars was interrupted, it rebounded in September.
With a number of milestones recorded during the fourth quarter of 2018, the Vietnamese automobile market is set to develop further in 2019 and in the years ahead.
He emphasized that the demand for automobiles among the domestic market has gained traction in recent years. Additionally, the rate of car ownership currently stands at 20 cars per 1,000 users while this rate is about 80 cars in Thailand and between 200 and 400 cars in other developed nations.
These figures are encouraging for the potential development of the automobile industry, which is predicted to enjoy strong growth in 2019 and beyond.
The Ford Vietnam managing director added that supply and demand are the two key factors that direct the domestic market and the domestic consumption of automobiles has been steadily on the uptick.
In 2018, Vietnam was one of the few nations in the world posting high economic growth whilst trust among consumers remained positive. These are important factors which can accelerate the demand for consumption of automobiles within the domestic market.
2019 represents a year of bright prospects for the supply source for the automobile market, Mr Dung said, noting that demand is the main factor leading the domestic market.
Since the fourth quarter of 2018, in order to stimulate demand for increased levels of consumption in the automobile market, automakers have launched a variety of models to provide consumers with a more diverse range of options.
In addition, the capacity to supply imported complete built-up units (CBUs) is predicted to remain stable in 2019. This looks set to provide a foundation for the domestic automobile market to make major breakthroughs in the year ahead.
Regarding the competition between domestically-assembled and imported CBU cars, Mr Dung said each automobile manufacturer has its own market segment. At present, both imported and domestically assembled cars have a diversified range of models and designs. The development of domestically assembled or imported CBU cars will depend on the strategy of each individual automaker, he noted.
For Ford Vietnam, their priority remains domestically assembled cars. For example, among the seven key models sold in the Vietnamese market, four models are domestically produced and assembled within the country, said Mr Dung. He pointed out that Ford has maintained manufacturing factories in just two Southeast Asian nations, Thailand and Vietnam.
Ford’s factory in Thailand focuses on manufacturing pickup trucks and the Ford Everest, while the factory in Vietnam is assigned to produce the Ford Transit, Ecosport, and Ford Focus. According to Mr Dung, Ford are already considering launching new products into the Vietnamese market.
The managing director also underlined the need to develop the production of domestically assembled and CBU cars in a proper manner to meet the diversified demands of the local market, thus accelerating the development of the automobile industry.
The automobile market is forecast to develop consistently throughout 2019 thanks to more stable regulatory polices such as supply sources meeting the market's demands.