Viet Nam News presents some highlights of the domestic auto market, which saw both ups and downs last year.
1. Domestic automobile businesses were barred from importing used cars, carriers and special-purpose vehicles that have been in use for five years or more.
2. The Ministry of Finance (MoF) tightened regulations that allow Vietnamese citizens returning from overseas (Viet kieu) to import automobiles as movable assets. While vehicles imported by the Viet kieu will be exempt from import duty, they will still face other taxes and fees, including special consumption and value-added taxes and a vehicle registration fee.
3. The Viet Nam General Statistics Office reported that the country had spent US$1.57 billion to import 72,000 cars, a record amount for Viet Nam.
4. A large number of vehicles was recalled. More than 42,770 Toyota Innova and Fortuner cars were recalled for checking and replacing the spiral cable of the driver's airbag, 35,850 Jupiter and Sirius motorbikes from Yamaha Vietnam were recalled to correct a defect in the rear brake light, 1,189 BMW vehicles were recalled for faulty airbags, and 14,291 Vespa scooters from Piaggio Vietnam were recalled to check for and repair possible fuel pipe defects. In addition, more than 180 Audi A4 models were recalled due to faulty airbags.
5. Automobile manufacturers established an "automobile board" to protect domestic producers in anticipation of tax cuts on imported vehicles in 2015.
6. The Vietnam Motor Show 2014 saw record sales with more than 560 sales contracts signed during the five-day event, double the number recorded at the 2013 show. This trend is seen as a positive indicator of the domestic automobile industry's recovery.