​Carmakers eye expanding assembly operations in Vietnam over tightened imports

Many automobile makers have announced plans to increase investment for vehicles manufactured or assembled in Vietnam as stricter import rules continue to prevent them from shipping completely built-up products to the Southeast Asian country. Vietnam’s car imports have dropped significantly since the government’s Decree 116, which requires all models of imported vehicles to obtain a Vehicle Type Approval certification issued by authorities in the exporting country, took effect on January 1. Few shipments have since been eligible for customs clearance to Vietnam as most countries that sell cars to the nation do not use such a document and it will take time for exporters to enact measures to meet those requirements. In the week ending February 1, only 23 automobiles, including 20 tractor trucks and three cars with fewer than nine seats, were imported into Vietnam, a clear example of Decree 116 impacts. In the same period, Vietnam imported nearly US$15.2 million worth of automobile parts and components, compared to the mere $1.66 million value of the 23 car shipments. While automobile producers have announced that they would cease exports to Vietnam for good and called on relaxing the regulations, they have also silently prepared to boost their assembly operations in the country as a temporary solution to the issue. Workers are seen at a car assembling plant in Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre ‘Last resort’ Toyota Vietnam is considering a plan to assemble several product lines, particularly the Fortuner, in Vietnam instead of Indonesia if the situation in the wake… [Read full story]

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