10:45 | 01/02/2016 Trade
India accounted for almost half the volume of completely built-up (CBU) passenger cars Vietnam imported last year despite lower tariffs on vehicles from ASEAN countries.
A Suzuki Ertiga imported from India is on display at an exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City last year. Vietnam imported over 25,000 cars from India last year, up 89% year-on-year
According to the General Department of Customs, Vietnam imported 51,460 cars with below nine seats last year, a 63% rise against the previous year. Over 25,000 units came from India, a year-on-year upsurge of 89%.
Last year, cars imported from India were slapped with an import tariff of 68% compared to the 50% rate for autos imported from ASEAN countries. However, Indian-made cars remain competitive in terms of price.
Domestic auto traders said CBU autos imported from India were mostly compact Hyundai Grand i10 and multi-purpose vehicle Suzuki Ertiga.
Though India made up nearly half of auto imports last year, it ranked third after China and the Republic of Korea in terms of total CBU vehicle imports.
Data of the customs authority showed China was Vietnam’s biggest supplier of CBU autos last year with 26,740 units, soaring 94.7%, while 26,570 units were imported from the Republic of Korea, up 58.2%. However, these two markets mainly supplied commercial vehicles, including trucks, buses and coaches.
Meanwhile, Thailand, the market forecast to boost auto exports to Vietnam to enjoy tariff reductions, sold 25,140 units to Vietnam last year, up 74.4% year-on-year.
Market watchers said only passenger cars which are not manufactured domestically were imported from Thailand and pick-up trucks made up a majority.
Thailand is strong at manufacturing pick-up trucks while Vietnam imposes a 5% import duty on such vehicles. Therefore, many pick-up trucks sold in the domestic markets such as Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara, Chevrolet Colorado, Mazda BT50, Isuzu D-Max and Mitsubishi Triton are from Thailand.
In all, last year saw CBU auto imports growing 77.1% year-on-year to 125,600 units worth US$2.99 billion, up 88.8% from a year earlier, according to the customs authority.
The Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA) reported that nearly 245,000 autos were delivered to customers last year, with imported CBU units up 74% to nearly 71,900 and domestically assembled vehicles rising by 48% to more than 173,000./.