Indonesia emerges as Vietnam’s largest auto exporter
 Indonesia overtook Thailand as Vietnam’s biggest exporter of cars under nine seats in May, said the General Department of Vietnam Customs.


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A pickup truck is displayed at an auto exhibition in Vietnam. Indonesia overtook Thailand as Vietnam’s biggest exporter of cars under nine seats in May



Vietnam imported 7,200 autos of less than nine seats from Indonesia in the first five months of the year, up from a slight 100 units in the same period last year.

Thailand came in second even thought it shipped 5,800 units to Vietnam, a year-on-year increase of 90.5%. Previously, Thailand always took the lead in this segment given Vietnam’s commitments to the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA). The duty on completely-built-up (CBU) autos manufactured in ASEAN countries is down to zero in 2018 compared to the current 30%.

A change in Toyota Vietnam’s business strategy was likely the cause of the surge of car imports from Indonesia. The company imports Fortuner SUVs from Indonesia, instead of assembling them in Vietnam as before.

Fortuner is a favorite model in the Vietnamese market, with about 1,000 units sold a month. In May alone, the Fortuner model led the sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment with 1,406 units sold, up 37%, said Toyota Vietnam.

According to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA), Toyota Vietnam sold more than 5,660 Fortuner vehicles in January-May, up 22.2% against the same period last year.

Fortuner accounted for two-thirds of all the automobiles imported from Indonesia in the first five months.

Vietnam spent US$216 million importing 9,900 CBU autos in May, up 42.7% in volume and 27.3% in value against the previous month. This led CBU car imports in the first five months to reach 42,300 units worth US$878 million, up 5.3% in volume but down 10.1% in value from the year-earlier period.

Lower-than-nine-seat car imports in January-May amounted to 23,300 units worth US$831 million, a year-on-year pickup of 37.8% and 35.7% respectively. Besides, US$313 million was spent on imports of 15,800 trucks, down 16.8% in value but up 12.5% in volume.

CBU car imports from non-ASEAN countries dipped in the first five months. Vietnam bought 4,900 units from India, 1,800 units from South Korea and 1,600 units from Japan, down 500, 700 and 1,000 units respectively.

CBU auto imports from Thailand totaled 15,900 units worth US$288 million in January-May, up 27.2% in volume and 27.4% in value year-on-year, while the volume of CBU cars imported from Indonesia was 6.1 times higher in volume at 8,700 units and 8.8 times higher in value at US$150 million, according to the customs.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s imports of CBU vehicles from China, mainly trucks, reached 2,700 units worth US$105 million in January-May, down 52.2% in both volume and value against the same period last year.

SGT

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