Top five auto events 2018

January 01, 2019 - 15:15

From F1 races to Viet Nam’s first car, it was a great year for the automobile sector. Here are Bizhub’s five top auto events of 2018.

Viet Nam News

From F1 races to Viet Nam’s first car, it was a great year for the automobile sector. Here are Bizhub’s five top auto events of 2018.

1. F1 racing comes to Việt Nam

Hà Nội announced it had been chosen to host a Formula One race for 10 years from April 2020, a first for the Southeast Asian nation where racing is still a fringe sport.

The race will be held in the area around Mỹ Đình Stadium. Việt Nam will become the third Southeast Asian country to host a F1 race after Malaysia and Singapore.

2. Việt Nam enters global automobile market

VinFast, Việt Nam’s first automobile maker, launched its new cars at the Paris Motor Show on October 2.

The Vingroup member company announced its first two cars, the LUX A2.0 sedan and LUX SA2.0 SUV a day before the Paris Motor Show. VinFast said it was working with leading firms in the field to creat cars with "Vietnamese identity - Italian design - German technology - international standard".

A month after it took part in the Paris show, VinFast introduced the two new vehicles, the sedan Fadil and Klara electric motorbike in the Vietnamese market.

In addition, VinFast and General Motors (GM) announced a deal for the former to be the exclusive distributor for the Chevrolet brand in Việt Nam.

3. Decree 116 hurts auto imports

At the start of this year after the Government issued Decree 116 with new rules on the production, assembly, import and business of automobile warranty and maintenance services, car imports dropped.

The decree came amid import taxes on cars from within ASEAN bloc falling to zero, with both regulations becoming effective from January 1, 2018.

The new regulations on papers and procedures to check emissions standards and technical safety by each lot of cars, including vehicle Type Approval (VTA) certificate from authorities of the importing countries, took auto importers more than half a year to meet. The import of automobiles from the US, Japan, South Korea and EU as well as some countries in Southeast Asia fell to a standstill.

A number of auto importers members of Vienam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association sent petitions to the Government to remove difficulties brought by Decree 116. The import of automobiles has recovered since September.

In January-November, Việt Nam imported 65,770 units, reaching a value of $1.45 billion, decreasing by 21.6 per cent and 23.5 per cent in volume and value, respectively, year on year.

The price of cars in 2018 lightly decreased but not much as consumers expected.

4. Thaco chosen as BMW distributor

BMW Group Asia picked Trường Hải Auto Corporation (Thaco) as the new importer and distributor of BMW and MINI vehicles in Việt Nam, starting from January 1, 2018.

The agreement was signed after the BMW GA finished four years of co-opration with Sime Darby Motors, a majority investor of Việt Nam Euro Automobiles (EAC), which was found guilty of trade fraud and issuing false invoices to Việt Nam’s customs office.

The first 55 cars of Thaco, including 21 BMW-branded cars and 34 MINI-branded cars, were officially shipped to Việt Nam for year-end distribution in August.

5. Motorbike’s automatic import licences removed

Importers of 175cc engine motorbikes no longer have to register for automatic import licences at the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), according to a circular which came into effect on November 5.

Going forward, the firms only have to perform procedures with customs agencies.

The move was part of the MoIT’s efforts to restructure administrative procedures and create a favourable trade environment.

Since 2014, motorbikes with engines of 175cc or more were one of the first groups to undergo online automatic licensing on the national single window system, which helped cut travel and waiting times, as well as administrative costs for businesses.

In the four years, a number of importers and distributors of such motorbikes appeared in Việt Nam, such as Harley-Davidson, Triumph and Royal Enfield. Meanwhile, firms including Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki, which already operated in Việt Nam, entered the market with new models. — VNS