Peugeot announces its return to Vietnam

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The representatives of Peugeot (R) and the Vietnamese company Thaco at a ceremony to announce their partnership on Monday

French automaker Peugeot announced Monday that it was returning to Vietnam with the creation of a distribution network and local production of its 408 model along with a Vietnamese partner, Thaco.

A Peugeot statement said that it would set up six dealerships in Vietnam, a former French colony, three in the northern region around Hanoi and three in the southern region of Ho Chi Minh City, and added that the network could eventually comprise 15 sites in all.

Peugeot was present in Vietnam through the 1980s before withdrawing from the country.

The 408 that is slated to be built there is a saloon (sedan) model that is already sold in China and Latin America, and Peugeot expects to locally produce around 80 percent of all the vehicles it sells in Vietnam, owing in large part to high customs duties, a spokesman said.

According to the French group, 80,000 new cars were sold in Vietnam last year, and the market is estimated to grow to 300,000 by 2020, with Peugeot hoping to account for five percent of the total.

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