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Vietnam car vendors offer promotions to hike sales ahead of Lunar New Year

Tuesday, January 03, 2017, 15:10 GMT+7

Car vendors in Vietnam are offering special promotions to boost sales as the country gets ready for the most festive and lucrative time of the year in anticipation of the Lunar New Year, to arrive later this month.

The promotions include discounts of up to over VND100 million (US$4,500) and lucky draws to win cars and luxury travel packages.

At a Ford showroom in Hanoi, a five-door Fiesta 1.5L sport-model sedan was priced at VND535 million ($23,900), 17.5 percent down from its original quote of VND648 million ($29,000).

Meanwhile, Japanese auto manufacturer Honda has also announced a number of promotional campaigns for its Vietnamese market, including chances of winning a car for every vehicle bought as well as prizes for test-drivers and travel packages at a five-star hotel.

Soft loans of up to 80 percent of the car’s value are also offered to buyers of Japanese auto brand Toyota, with free insurance and interior customization included.

According to Ninh Huu Chan, general secretary of the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers' Association (VAMA), local car vendors are looking to boost sales in the run-up to the Tet holiday.

Tet, or the Lunar New Year, is the biggest public celebration in Vietnam, which includes a series of ceremonial preparations as well as festive exhibitions customarily lasting one week before and after that date.

The month prior to Tet is considered the lucrative season for businesses in the country with customer buying power often rocketing.

This year, the public holiday will last for seven days, from January 26 to February 1, with Lunar New Year’s Day falling on Saturday, January 28.

Chan added that starting this year, the import tax imposed on automobiles originating from member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be reduced by ten percentage points (from 40 percent to 30 percent), which further explains the clutch of discounts from local car vendors.

ASEAN is a ten-member politico-economic organization whose members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

According to the head of a local South Korean car importer, new emission standards have since the beginning of 2017 been applied to newly assembled, manufactured or imported cars in Vietnam, which has prompted local firms to promote sales of older models.

Vietnam imported 107,569 automobiles worth a total of $2.221 billion from January 1, 201 6 to December 15, 2016, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

Trucks occupied the largest portion of the import turnover, totaling $912.5 million, while nine-seaters or smaller cars came second at $659 million, according to the same source.

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