Automobile imports on the rise

More than 56,000 completely built units (CBUs) of automobiles were imported during the first half of this year, an increase of 30,000 units over the same period last year.

The officials of the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) said at a meeting on June 24 that of the total number of CBUs, 18,000 were vehicles with nine seats or less, while up to 36,000 were trucks and buses. 

Earlier, the General Department of Customs reported that Vietnam imported more than 45,700 CBUs during the first five months, up nearly 130% year-on-year. Their combined value was US$1.2 billion, a year-on-year increase of 183%. 

In five months, cars with nine seats or less reached some 15,800 (up 74%) in number and US$186 million (up 69%) in value. Trucks reached roughly 17,160 (up 95%) and US$455 million (up 123%) in number and value, respectively. 

The MPI officials said the latest data indicated that enterprises stepped up the import of vehicles that serve production and transportation. 

The sharp rise in the number of trucks was due to a tighter policy of the Ministry of Transport for controlling vehicle weights to ensure safer road traffic, they added. 

A sizable number of Chinese trucks reportedly entered the Vietnam market over the last few months, threatening similar vehicles manufactured and assembled domestically, as well as the national automobile industry. The MPI Deputy Minister Dang Huy Dong stressed that the situation required attention as some domestic policies were virtually stimulating demands for products from other countries.