Car imports have been flat in October, staying at 5,000 units, though the value fell sharply to US$76 million, the General Statistics Office said.
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In the previous two months too 5,000 complete built unit (CBU) cars were imported but they cost $95 million in September and $92 million in August.
The sluggishness at a time of the year when imports normally rise has been attributed to the stock market which remains depressed.
The flat car imports are also attributed to the fact that consumers are switching to home-made autos following a slew of recent recalls in the global market and promotions offered by local carmakers.
The GSO said that in January-October 42,000 cars worth $759 million were imported, 28.4 percent down in volume terms and 17.4 percent in value.
Sluggish market predicted
Imports have fallen steadily since July this year when they peaked at 4,400 units worth about $96 million and the GSO expects to see the downturn continue this year.
The Viet Nam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA) has said the same thing, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
The general director of the website www.muabanoto.vn, Nguyen Thanh Binh, predicted automobile sales to decline by 20 percent in the remaining months.
Government policies aimed at reducing imports have also been cited as a reason for the sluggish sales this year.
“Last year the value-added tax and registration fees were 50 percent lower thanks to the government’s stimulus package,” Nguyen Trung Hieu, a VAMA official, said.
Binh said: “Interest rates have been so high in recent times that less people want to buy cars.”
VAMA said 9,141 automobiles were sold last month, a year-on-year fall of 17 percent.