1. World's top luxury car manufacturer comes to Viet Nam
British luxury car maker Rolls Royce appointed Regal Motor Cars as its first dealer in Viet Nam, giving the company a foothold in one of the region's emerging auto markets. As many as 70 Rolls Royce cars are running in Viet Nam, four of them Phantom Dragons – a limited edition that costs US$1.2 million.
2. Vietnam Motorcycle Festival 2013 revs up HCM City
The Vietnam Motorcycle Festival 2013, the first of its kind in Viet Nam, was held in HCM City from July 27 to 28 and was attended by more than 1,200 high-end motorbikes from clubs nationwide.
The event showcased the latest motorcycles from a wide range of international brands, including Harley-Davidson, Benelli, BMW, Kawasaki, KTM, Pilsa, Suzuki, Triumph and Victory.
3. Automobile firms want import tax payment deadline extended
Many automobile businesses have asked the Government to extend its deadline for import tax payments because they need to concentrate on the automobile industry's development.
These firms include Thanh Cong Joint Stock Company, TMT Automobile company, Hoang Tra Company Ltd, Vinaxuki and Dong Phuong Automobile Company Ltd.
The move follows the Government's acceptance of a request by Truong Hai Automobile Company (Thaco) to extend the deadline from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 for paying import tax of more than VND1.2 trillion (US$75 million).
4. Viet kieu car imports must clear customs
The Ministry of Finance has proposed that the Government should confiscate those vehicles shipped to Viet Nam that are not eligible for import under the Viet kieu (overseas Vietnamese) policy for moveable assets of repatriating Vietnamese citizens.
The move aims to prevent people from taking advantage of the Government's Viet kieu automobile import policies to make illegal profits.
According to current regulations, Viet kieu vehicles are taxed at a rate of 50 per cent of the purchase price, while cars imported for domestic purchase attract a VAT, import tax and special consumption tax equivalent to over 100 per cent.
The number of luxury vehicles brought in by repatriating Viet kieu has rapidly increased, with more than 1,140 cars imported in 2012, compared with 164 in 2011. They included top brands such as Lexus, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Bentley and Ferrari.
5. Automobile owners pay road-use fees
Automobile owners nationwide have been paying road-use fees since January 1. The fees range from VND1.56 million (US$74) to VND12.48 million ($598) and are based on the engine capacity of the vehicles.
The fees collected will be used to maintain traffic systems nationwide. According to the Viet Nam Road Administration, the sector will need nearly VND11,650 billion ($554.76 million) to maintain traffic systems nationwide in 2014.
6. VN Motor Show registers record new car sales
Over 200 cars were sold at the Viet Nam Motor Show—the largest number of new car deals in a single fair since the first show was held in 2005.
The five-day show also attracted a record number of 153,300 visitors, with 50,000 coming on the final day of the exhibition. Attending the show were famous brand names including Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Nissan, Land Rover and Audi.
7. Car sales driven by incentives
New car sales in September in Viet Nam soared to their highest level in three years, lifted by a brighter outlook for the economy, attractive financing deals, price discounts and reduced car registration fees.
The country's 18 leading car manufacturer sold a combined 9,785 units in September, up 24 per cent compared with August and 28 per cent over the same period last year, according to the Viet Nam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA).
8 . Motorbike makers eye exports
Motorbike manufacturers in Viet Nam are looking to push up exports as the domestic market narrows and competition becomes fiercer. The Vietnamese market consumed about 3.11 million motorbikes in 2012, a year-on-year decrease of 6.6 per cent.
Increasing exports is one way to deal with a decline in domestic sales. Honda Vietnam has already exported several models, including Dream and Wave to other Southeast Asian countries and SH and PCX to European countries.
The company has announced plans to ship Lead 125 CC motorbikes to Japan. Piaggio Vietnam has already begun exporting its products to other ASEAN countries and is trying to get a toehold in the Taiwanese market.
9. Car registration fee reduced
The Government issued a resolution to help struggling businesses and stimulate the slowing economy by cushioning the blow of car registration fees.
The 02/NQ-CP resolution will reduce the new car registration fees to 10 per cent of its total value and 2 per cent for second-hand cars across the country.
At present, three major cities—HCM City, Ha Noi and Da Nang—have reduced the registration fee from 15 per cent or 12 per cent to 10 per cent.
It's reported that the number of car orders has increased substantially ever since the reduction of registration fees was announced.
10. PM issues new regulations on diplomatic cars
Diplomatic agencies, consular offices and the representative offices of international organisations in Viet Nam will be allowed to sell their cars or motorbikes to others in Viet Nam after using them for 24 months.
According to a prime ministerial decree, these agencies can transfer a car or motorbike to staff members of diplomatic agencies in Viet Nam, provided that the individual has worked there for a minimum of 12 months. The buyer does not have to pay import tax.
Secondly, they can transfer the vehicle to anybody, but the buyer will have to pay the import tax based on the car's value.
If the owners don't want to use their cars anymore or their term of office in Viet Nam has ended, they will have to re-export their cars.
Currently, these organisations don't pay any import tax while transporting vehicles from other countries to Viet Nam. — VNS