Vietnam spends US$2.35 billion to import cars in 2020

The majority of imported cars in Vietnam in the final month of the year came from Thailand (7,696 cars), and Indonesia (2,353) and China (1,158).

Vietnam imported over 105,000 cars in 2020 worth US$2.35 billion, down 24.5% in volume and 25.6% in value year-on-year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC).

Vietnam, car imports, customs, trade, covid-19, pandemic, China, Thailand, Indonesia  Data: GDVC. Chart: Nguyen Tung

In December, the number of imported cars was 12,690 worth US$308 million, up 3.7% month-on-month in volume and 12.8% in value.

According to the GDVC, 88% of imported cars in Vietnam in the final month of the year came from Thailand (7,696 cars), and Indonesia (2,353) and China (1,158).

Passenger cars made up the largest proportion in December with 7,168 units worth US$141 million, accounting for 56.5% of the total imported volume and down 15.1% in quantity month-on-month.

Customs statistics also showed that car accessories and parts worth US$527 million were imported into Vietnam in December, up 23.4% month-on-month. Suppliers of those products were mainly from South Korea, earning US$154 million, up 36.2% month-on-month; Japan, US$93 million, up 17%; China,US$88 million, up 16.7%; and Thailand, US$87 million, up 0.6%.

Overall, accessories and parts from these four countries accounted for 80% of total imported value in December, resulting in an import value of over US$4 billion for accessories and parts in 2020, slightly down 3.8% year-on-year.

Car sales surge 45% in December

Monthly data from the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA) revealed car sales in Vietnam surged 45% year-on-year to 47,865 units in December.

Big sales promotion in the final month of the year and customers rushing to buy cars before the government's policy of reducing 50% of the registration fee for domestically-produced cars expired by the year-end were seen as key factor leading to a high number of cars sold in December.

However, car sales in Vietnam in 2020 dropped 8% year-on-year to 296,634 units across all segments. Meanwhile, the sales of domestically assembled cars reached 187,688 units during the period, down 1% compared to the same period of last year, while imported completely-built-units (CBUs) totaled 108,485 units (-17%).

Such decline in the number of car sales was significantly lower than VAMA’s forecast of 15% decrease in the sale number for the year.

As the pandemic continues to linger, expert suggested the year of 2021 is set to be another difficult one for Vietnam’s car market as businesses opt to tighten their spending.

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