In the early 2000s, two Vietnamese companies had strength in the truck and passenger vehicle market segments. However, Vinaxuki went downhill and had no opportunity to recover. As for Thaco, Tran Ba Duong, its CEO, chose the correct path to development.
Starting business as a used car dealer, Thaco later began making trucks, buses and now assembles Mazda, Kia and Peugeot.
Do Huu Hao, former deputy minister of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), commented that Thaco started with simple jobs (assembling trucks and buses) and then undertook more complicated work (sedans).
The manufacturing of buses and trucks helped Thaco accumulate experience and money to make sedans. Thaco is now a big power in the market and its sale promotion campaigns always have an impact on the market.
Thaco said Vietnam cannot compete with other countries which have been making cars for hundreds of years.
However, this is quite different for buses and trucks. In 2011, Thaco began building a factory for making buses, the first in Vietnam which has 80% of equipment designed by Thaco’s engineers.
Most recently, Thaco inaugurated the largest and most modern bus factory in South East Asia and signed a contract on exporting 1,150 businesses to four countries.
Meanwhile, Thanh Cong Group’s success was a surprise to many people. In 2009, Thanh Cong became the distributor of Hyundai cars. Even when Hyundai fell into Thanh Cong’s hands, few people thought Hyundai sedans would be assembled in Vietnam and exported.
The rapid growth has placed Hyundai Thanh Cong (HTC) in the top five manufacturers with the largest market share in Vietnam. Most of HTC’s models are now made at HTC’s factory in Ninh Binh province.
The third name in the ‘trio’ is Vinfast, an ambitious investor. Unlike Thaco, Vinfast, from the beginning, stated that it would make sedans with Vietnamese brand.
The manufacturer, belonging to Vingroup, a powerful conglomerate with investments in many business fields, has hired famous design centers in the world to design models ‘with a Vietnamese soul and for the Vietnamese market’.
VinFast promised that Vietnamese will have opportunities to own cars at reasonable prices and the project will help generate 25,000 workers, thus indirectly feeding 25,000 families.