The Vietnamese motorbike market has been growing for some years, but the financial situation has changed the outlook for the coming year.
Motorbike market gloomy as customers tighten spending
Despite various promotion and advertisement programmes, motorbike companies have seen a sharp drop in sales. Many staff remain idle at their dealerships, waiting around for customers to arrive, while most shops claim to have been taking large losses.
During the last few years, motorbike prices have been on the rise, often increasing towards the end of the year for Tet. This year, however, even discounts have failed to lure the hope for year-end sales boom.
Le Truong Giang, Director of Ha Giang Motorcycle Ltd. Company, said that normally this time of year they would be sold out, but this year has been quite slow.
"We've been offering prices as low as VND1-2 million ($47.6-95.2) under the sticker value,” Giang said.
Nguyen Thi Nham, a customer, shared, “I'd like to buy a motorbike, but am shopping around for the best price. In the end, the amount of my Tet bonus will be the key to my decision.”
According to dealers in Danang, the number of people who buy high-end motorbikes, such as the SH and the Vespa Lx, has fallen considerable. More people are tending to buy cheaper models. The Lead and the Honda Vision have both become popular, priced between VND30-40 million ($1,428-1,904).
Retailers have reported that sales this year are about half of what they were during this time last year. Most customers are those who are in need of transportation, instead of those who simply want to update to a newer model.
Most people who deal in the business blame the inflation rate for causing customers to tighten their purse strings.