Auto salons struggle to boost sales amid increasing supply

Several automobiles manufacturers in Vietnam have run various promotional campaigns for a third consecutive month in order to boost demand and sales amid the context that foreign-made cars have been imported heavily into Vietnamese market.
Imported cars at SPCT Port. (Photo: SGGP)
Imported cars at SPCT Port. (Photo: SGGP)
The automobile market in recent months is totally different from how it was before Tet holidays when customers had to cool their heels or were willing to pay more to receive their cars immediately.
It is recorded that some auto salons in Ho Chi Minh City have seen a few customers on the first days of May. According to a car salesman, during this time, customers mainly went to his salon for car maintenance and services. There was a few buyers but not as many as it was during the time prior to Tet holidays. This situation usually lasts until the end of the seventh month in lunar calendar.
Because of poor patronage, Thaco has run a promotional campaign to stimulate demand, offering discount on various car models, even hot items, such as Mazda CX-5.
Toyota was also experiencing the same situation. The prices of cars at car dealerships are currently lower than listed prices. All car models are cut by VND20-40 million per unit or given a gift worth VND10-15 million.
Other automobile makers, including Mitsubishi, Nissan, Ford and even Mercedes-Benz also offered a discount of VND10-15 million per car, depending on brand and model.

According to car dealers, the fact that imported car supply has grown again and common ground of assembled cars is the same has triggered a vibrant sales race in price, gift as well as services.
Noticeably, a drop in prices of imported cars at the beginning of this year was assumed to originate from the fact that firms focused on importing cheap, small-sized and popular cars. The number of luxury cars imported was low.
On the contrary to a shortage of imported cars in 2018, after the entanglement of the Decree No.116 was resolved, supply of imported cars has become plentiful when many containers of cars continuously arrived in Vietnam.
Figures showed that in the first four months of this year, the number of imported cars surged 778 percent in volume and 637 percent in value compared to the same period last year. Particularly, the number of imported completely-built-unit cars in the first four months of this year reached 52,000 units, worth nearly US$1.14 billion.
Due to plentiful car supply, the prices of cars tend to decline further. Imported cars have caused pressure on domestically-assembled cars, urging the latter to do everything to compete with the former.
However, the prices of cars remain at high level. Most people are still unable to afford a car, especially when a reduction in car price has not been equivalent to the profit that automobile makers have been pocketing.

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