|The volume of imported automobiles was nearly 300 per cent higher than that of previous year. — Photo vietnamnet.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — The import of made-in-China automobiles to the Vietnamese market were successful in 2015 as their prices were much lower than others in the same segment.
However, according to phaluattp.vn, the sales of vehicles imported from China has recently been slow due to their inferior quality.
Statistics from the General Statistic Office showed that the last half of 2014 and the first half of 2015 was the fastest growth period of made-in-China automobiles in Viet Nam. Even though, sometime in 2015, the volume of imported automobiles was nearly 300 per cent higher than that of previous year.
Many of the imported vehicles during that time were trucks, tractor trucks and various semi-trailers.
According to reports, vehicles from China such as Dongfeng, Sinotruck, FAW, and JAC, in addition to Chenglong, were imported at two-thirds and even half the price as compared with similar locally-assembled units and those imported from South Korea and Japan.
In particular, Chinese businesses had followed up Viet Nam's decision on tighter control over overloaded trucks, which were blamed for damaging roads and threatening the safety of others road users. They had immediately revised the specifications of vehicles to match with the regulations and still met the demand of Vietnamese customers.
A representative of the Truong Hai Auto Corporation (Thaco) told phapluattp.vn that many Vietnamese importers had visited China to ask producers to revise the tonnage of vehicles to make them lighter than and be suitable for use as per regulations in Viet Nam. Chinese automakers grabbed the opportunity to meet the demand.
"Local auto makers and assemblers failed to meet the demand at that time. South Korean and Japanese automakers took about six months to design a suitable model," the Thaco representative said.
After a period of ‘boom' in the Vietnamese market, the sale of made-in-China vehicles has now slowed down drastically.
Phong, an owner of an automobile business in District 12, HCM City, said his company previously sold dozens of made-in-China vehicles in a month, but in the last two months of 2015, he could sell only two units.
"Since early this year, no one has bought these vehicles," Phong said.
Truong Duy, a representative of a Chinese automobile agent on the National Highway 1, said his agent had sold only five units since early December last year.
He said the demand of Chinese vehicles, after a period of rapid increase, had begun to dip.
One of key reasons leading to this situation was the incorrect predictions on auto consumption in the market, Duy said. Misled by those predictions, domestic auto importers increased the import volumes of Chinese trucks as compared to the real demand.
"If poor sales continue, the number of Chinese automobiles in the inventory may increase to hundreds of units each company," Duy said.
Director of a transportation business in HCM City, Vo Van Phung, said Chinese trucks were so cheap that they were suitable for customers who had bought it for the first time to do business because of the rapid capital turnover.
However, Phung told phapluattp.vn that after three or four years in use, Chinese trucks began breaking down. Meanwhile, those imported from Japan and South Korea such as Hino, Suzuki, Isuzu and Kia were more durable, and even ten years later their engines were still smooth and consumed less fuel.
"Many drivers said that steering Chinese vehicles was very tiring. Furthermore, its engine kept breaking down and the safety aspects were not high," Phung said.
According to statistics from the transport ministry's Register Viet Nam, more than 105,150 made-in-China units were imported to Viet Nam in the first 10 months of last year, of which 15,000 were semi-trailers and nearly 10,000 were trucks.
Meanwhile, there were only 33 semi-trailers and 7,400 trucks imported from other countries including Japan and South Korea. — VNS