Automobile market sees growth in Q1 on dimming economic backdrop

April 22, 2023 - 08:39
Automobile sales saw growth in the first quarter of this year as manufactures launched promotions together with increases in supply and lower interest rates.


A car showroom in Vĩnh Phúc Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Trọng Lịch

HÀ NỘI — The automobile market posted significant growth in the first quarter of this year despite the dimming economic backdrop.

The initial updates of the General Department of Customs showed that Việt Nam imported more than 15,220 completely built-ups (CBUs) in March with a total value of US$355.4 million, up 23.2 per cent and 36.8 per cent, respectively, against the previous month. The import of CBUs totalled more than 42,000 CBUs in the first quarter of this year, worth $925.5 million, representing a rise of 76.9 per cent in volume and 64.8 per cent in value compared to the same period last year.

Statistics of the Việt Nam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association showed that more than 30,000 cars were sold in March, a rise of 30 per cent against February.

The association said that car manufacturers launched promotions in March, including price reductions, and support registration fees from 50 per cent to 100 per cent, which helped boost sales in the month. In addition, the supply of cars to the market began to increase compared to January.

TC Motor which assembled and distributed Huyndai said that its sales reached 5,773 automobiles in March, up 5.6 per cent.

Electric car producer VinFast sold 915 cars, up 120 per cent.

The association’s statistics showed that the automobile brand name with the best sales in the first quarter was Hyundai with 14,736 units sold in the period, followed by Toyota with 13,566 units, Ford with 8,668 units, Kia with 8,600 units and Mitsubishi with 7,080 units.

It would be difficult for the automobile market to be as robust as 2022 when the proposal of reducing the registration fees by half was not approved.

However, the purchasing power would improve in the coming quarters, especially with interest rates cooling down.

Đinh Trọng Thịnh from the Academy of Finance said the debut of new models in different segments in 2022 contributed to boosting sales in the first quarter of this year.

The domestic automobile market would continue to grow this year, Thịnh said, forecasting a growth rate of 7-8 per cent over last year.

He also added that banks might focus more on consumer lending in 2022, including lending for automobile purchases, which would give a push to the market.

Technology to boost sales

As an inevitable global trend, smart assistants and products with high localisation such as Vietnamese language assistants were one of the new competitive factors among car manufacturers.

A survey found that more than 60 per cent of drivers used the voice assistant feature while driving – an important factor that influenced their car buying decisions.

The technology was opening up new opportunities for automobile manufacturers.

According to Navigant Research, voice assistants would be integrated into about 90 per cent of new vehicles sold globally by 2028.

In Việt Nam, March saw impressive growth of the Vietnamese language voice assistant Kiki, developed by Zalo AI, by 50 per cent in just three months to reach 300,000 installations and 150,000 queries per day.

Experts said that the automobile market was entering the era of voice assistance, urging manufacturers to deploy this technology to create competitiveness. — VNS