Vietnam has become the fastest-growing automobile market in Southeast Asia with sales jumping nearly 60 percent this year.
A new report from Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said nearly 215,520 vehicles were sold in the first 11 months and the number is expected to reach 250,000 at the end of the year. The figure includes SUVs, passenger cars and commercial vehicles.
Industry insiders said that although Vietnamese have to pay much more for vehicles than people in other countries due to a range of tariffs and fees, sales have been boosted by easier loans. Truck sales have been supported by strict regulations against overloading.
Vietnamese people who can afford it are switching from motorbikes, the traditional means of transport, to cars, they said.
The General Statistics Office said the country spent nearly US$6 billion importing cars, trucks and car parts, up 59 percent from last year.
More than half of the cars sold in the country this year were imported, valued at nearly US$2.96 billion, up 77 percent in number and 88 percent in value.
India topped the list of auto exporters to Vietnam, followed by China, South Korea and Thailand.
The country has also been a great market for luxury cars this year with Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and BMW all reporting massive growth. The companies estimated to sell a total of more than 6,000 cars this year.