Vietnam’s auto consumption drops in Southeast Asia

11 May 2023

By the end of QI-2023, the number of cars sold in Vietnam reached 86,817 vehicles, one level below the Philippines among the markets with the most automobile consumption.

Khách hàng xem xe tại một đại lý Mitsubishi ở quận Bình Tân, TP HCM. Ảnh: Phạm Trung

For many years, Vietnam has been the fourth largest auto consumption market in Southeast Asia, below Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. However, the sharp decline in the first three months of 2023 caused Vietnam to fall to fifth.

According to the Association of Asian Automobile Manufacturers (AAF), Vietnam is one of the two markets with the strongest decline in sales after the first quarter. Leading is Myanmar, downed by 84.8%. However, this market has very low sales, only 519 vehicles after the first 3 months of 2023. Consumption of the same period in 2022 is 3,411 vehicles, the same number as one single brand’s monthly sales like Mitsubishi or Ford sold in Vietnam.

Sales of 86,817 vehicles of the Vietnamese market in the first quarter of 2023 corresponds to a decrease of 25% compared to the same period of 2022. The figures are calculated from the sales of the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA), VinFast, and Hyundai Thanh Labour.

The influence of the global economic downturn, inflation, and financial investment industries such as real estate and securities have not yet flourished. Vietnamese people are more hesitant when deciding to buy a high-value item such as cars. Although many firms and dealers actively promote in many forms, the purchasing power of Vietnamese cars has not yet regained its growth momentum.

The Thai market fell in the same direction as Vietnam, but a slight decrease of 6.1%, sales reached more than 210,000 vehicles. The auto industry in this country is also affected by the economy when growth slows since April last year, bank interest rates increase, besides other problems such as floods or lack of components, according to Just Auto.

Meanwhile, two other large markets in the region, Indonesia and Malaysia, have grown well. Indonesia increased by 7%, reaching more than 280,000 vehicles sold, continuing to be the leading market in terms of new car sales. Malaysia is still in third place with more than 190,000 vehicles sold in the first three months of 2023, up by 20.4%.

Due to Vietnam’s sharp decline, the Philippines rose to fourth place when it sold more than 97,000 vehicles, up 30.1% after the first quarter of 2023. In the region, besides Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, the market Singapore’s auto market also decreased in purchasing power when reaching nearly 10,000 cars sold after 3 months, downed by 4.3%.

For the auto manufacturing and assembling segment alone, the order of leading countries remains unchanged. Thailand consumes fewer new cars than Indonesia but produces more. Malaysia ranks above Vietnam in both sales and production capacity.



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