HA NOI — Motorbike makers in Viet Nam produced 384,800 units last month, a year-on-year increase of 11.3 per cent, fuelled by discounts in retail prices, statistics released yesterday showed.
|A motorbycle shop on Ba Trieu Street, Ha Noi. Motorbike makers in Viet Nam produced 384,800 units last month, a year-on-year increase of 11.3 per cent, fuelled by discounts in retail prices. — VNS Photo Truong Vi
According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), the number of motorbikes sold saw a 16 per cent increase last month, which saw the inventory level for January drop to 31.4 per cent compared to last year's 41.7 per cent.
The revival of the motorbike sector was attributed to the mass discount of retail prices to trigger demand.
"There is no other way to ignite demand than by cutting retail prices," said Pham Manh Sy, general director of the Viet Phu company, a prominent Yamaha retailer in Ha Noi.
Sy told Viet Nam News that economic difficulties and increasing cases of motorbike fires had decelerated the market.
"However, the appeal of lower prices drew buyers back," he added.
Sy said retail prices of some models were cut from 5 to 10 per cent.
Meanwhile, the country imported 5,000 complete-built-unit (CBU) motorbikes worth US$8 million last month, according to the GSO.
While the figure represents a 70 per cent rise in volume and 100 per cent increase in value over December 2011, it also represents a 69.5 per cent drop in volume and a 71 per cent decline in value over the corresponding period last year.
According to the Ministry of Transport, as many as 35 million motorbikes now run throughout the country.
Brand names fall
The Ministry of Industry and Trade predicted that Viet Nam would have a population of 99.6 million and 33.5 million motorbikes by 2020, or one motorbike for every 2.97 people.
Most big scooter brand names in Ha Noi have seen sharp decreases in sales prices, some experiencing drops of VND10 million ($476) lower than proposed prices.
At Honda's HEAD shops in Thanh Xuan and Dong Da districts, most selling prices have been lower than price tags. For example, the selling price of a Honda Vision was VND26.3 million ($1,252) while the price tag was VND28.5 million ($1,357).
Lead scooters have been sold at VND34-34.2 million ($1,619-1,628) against the proposed price of VND35 million ($1,666).
PCX scooters have seen the highest decrease among Honda's scooter range with a proposed sales price of VND59 million ($2,800) against the actual price of VND53 million ($2,500).
The prices of Yamaha scooters have also decreased. Nozza, the producer's best selling scooter, has been sold at VND33.5 million ($1,595) while the proposed price was VND33.9 million ($1,614).
The producer's Nouvou scooter has been sold at VND500,000 to VND1 million ($24-48) lower than its proposed price.
Most scooter retailers in the capital said it has been an unusually quiet time for the market. A scooter trader in Hue Street said several people rushed to buy motorbikes before the end of last year to avoid increasing fees of registration.
A HEAD retailer in Giai Phong Street said the number of scooters provided from producers to retailers had risen, causing a surplus of products due to low demand. — VNS