Vietnam’s imports of automobiles in the January-October period posted strong growth in both volume and value, data from the General Department of Vietnam Customs shows.
The Southeast Asian country imported 51,600 complete automobiles in the year to October, a steep increase of 79 percent compare to the same period last year, according to the general customs department.
These cars were worth VND24 trillion (roughly US$1.14 billion), up a record 96 percent from the same period last year.
Imports from key markets also expanded sharply from a year earlier.
Car imports from China in September topped 8,400 units, up 203 percent from a year earlier, and 9,650 units in October, a 205 percent year on year increase, according to the Vietnam Customs.
Of the 51,600 cars imported in the Jan-Oct period, 22,800, or 44.2 percent, are automobiles with nine seats or less, while the respective numbers of trucks and other automobiles were 20,500 and 7,500 units, according to the customs department.
Vietnam has apparently become a magnet for global luxury carmakers as three major industry players have already opened, or plan to open, showrooms in the Southeast Asian country, and particularly in the capital city of Hanoi.
British luxury automobile manufacturer Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited launched its first Vietnam showroom in Hanoi on August 27, whereas Bentley Motors is slated to open its first dealership in the city this month.
A strong player from Italy, Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., has also chosen Vietnam as a destination for the expansion of its dealer network across Asia Pacific.
Besides Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Lamborghini, other brands such as Lexus, Audi and Porsche are also present in Vietnam.
While consumption of luxury cars in the Southeast Asian country is still small, the interest of ‘upper-class’ customers in cars worth hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars “is enough for automakers to open showrooms” here, according to The Saigon Times Online.
Most of these customers are celebrities or business moguls, the economic newswire said.