Vietnam imported 81,600 cars worth over US$1.8 billion in 2018, down nearly 16% in quantity and 20% in value year-on-year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC).
The fall in imported car sales was attributed to strict requirements stipulated in Decree No. 116, which came into force in early 2018, specifying the regulatory conditions and licenses for automobile manufacturing, assembling, importing, maintenance, and warranty businesses. Substantially, car importers are required to provide a type approval certificate.
Thailand and Indonesia continued to be Vietnam’s main car import markets in 2018, with 72,780 cars worth US$1.3 billion, largely because the automobile import tariff slips to 0% under the effect of the ASEAN trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), which came into effect in the beginning of 2018.
Under-nine-seat cars made up the largest proportion with over 48,000 units from Thailand and Indonesia, accounting for 90% of total imported cars, and the average unit price amounted to VND500 million (US$21,250), excluding taxes.
In 2018, Japanese cars remained Vietnamese customers’ favorite in spite of the high price at VND1 billion (US$43,000) on average, while over 1,500 Chinese cars were imported to Vietnam worth US$47 million.
In the first 15 days of January, Vietnam imported 6,400 cars worth US$158 million, of which 4,300 were passenger cars worth US$96 million, while trucks were 1,820 and over-nine-seat cars 90.
Vietnam also imported accessories and parts worth US$221.7 million during the period.