Car industry faces low-tax imports

by PV/VTV01 March 2017 Last updated at 08:10 AM

(Photo: Vef)
(Photo: Vef) - Vietnam abided by its agreement of ASEAN Free Trade Area by lowering import taxes on vehicles from 40% to 30% in 2017, with the tax scheduled to be 0% in 2018.

In 2016, over 300,000 vehicles were sold in Vietnam, not including 60,000 second-hand imported units. This is the highest figure yet recorded, equivalent to more than 50 million US dollars of profit to manufacturers.

Vietnam Motors Corporation (VMC), licenced in 1991, was once the second largest car manufacturer in Vietnam, employing about 2,000 workers. But its golden age is now just a memory for those that used to work there.

"It was such a pity. It was a huge car manufacturing facility, and went through many generations of directors. All the workers lost their jobs and went on different paths", Do Dang Binh - Former employee of Vietnam Motors Corporation (1990 - 2010) - said.

Vinaxuki and many other car firms suffered from the same difficulties right after the import tax was reduced. The situation will be even harsher when this tax turns to 0% for vehicles imported from ASEAN countries next year.

"In 2018, when import tax for vehicles will fall to 0%, Vietnam's car industry can hardly compete, especially for firms without a clear strategy", Nguyen Tuan - Thien Anh Phuc Joint Stock Company - said.

According to some experts, a number of car manufacturers will remain in Vietnam after 2018.

"There will be persistent Japanese car manufacturers. I worked in Toyota, and they will be one of them. I hope the government can support firms in this difficult time", Lam Chi Quang - Member of Presidium, Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations - said.

As the tariff reductions near, each firm is finding their own way to survive and thrive. The area where VMC used to operate now consists of real estate. Its last factory will be demolished in April to make way for more real estate development.


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