Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vietnam auto sales slump

In a sign that the auto industry turmoil is world wide, Vietnam's auto sales are also in a slump and evidently not about to turn around without some stimulus. This is from vna.

Vietnam auto industry running on fumes
11/11/2008 -- 11:26 AM
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam auto sales slumped in October, with some top carmakers reporting their worst sales volume ever, as slumping consumer confidence and a worsening credit crunch kept buyers away from showrooms. According to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA), 17 leading domestic automakers sold 5,679 vehicles last month, down 37 percent from the same period last year. Industry insiders said automakers have been battered by a weak economy, rising gas prices, a sharp shift away from their most profitable products and a credit crisis that has depleted the market for cars. Most of VAMA’s members experienced a fall in sales last month. Ho Chi Minh City-based bus and truck producer SAMCO suffered the worst fall with a 72 percent decline, followed by the Vietnam Motor Corporation (VMC), which fell 68 percent and SUV specialist Isuzu 65 percent. Toyota , GM Daewoo and Ford, the “big three” of the local auto market, also experienced poor sales. Toyota suffered a 16 percent downturn, GM Daewoo 51 percent and Ford 41 percent. The commercial vehicles sector, once the driving force of overall auto sales, saw a 43 percent year-on-year decrease to 2,719 units sold, followed by SUV/MPV (Sport Utility Vehicles and Multi-Purpose Vehicles), 33 percent down to 1,596 units, and passenger cars, 27 percent down to 1,364 units. “A drop-off in personal spending tied to enocomic woes and the credit crunch kept buyers out of auto showrooms for much of the month, even as automakers boosted incentives to spur sales and sky-high gas prices collapsed,” SAMCO’s northern director Hoa Ngoc Duong told the English-language daily Vietnam News on Nov. 10. Duong added that the market would not be able to bounce back without “a coordinated national effort to turn this economy around.” Meanwhile, some dealers said consumers were having a tough time closing new car deals, because many lenders have tightened their standards or completely pulled out of the auto loans market. “Customers are having a lot of difficulty accessing lending services to buy cars, which has made a huge impact on the downturn of the market,” said Duong Kim Thoa, a representative of Dong Hai Auto, one of the top auto dealers in Hanoi.-Enditem

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