Automotive industry in Vietnam

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VinFast LUX SUV V8 at General Motor Show 2019

Automotive industry in Vietnam is a fast growing sector, mainly reliant on domestic sales. All currently produced models are designed abroad by foreign brands, and many rely on knock-down kit production. Due to high import taxes on automobiles, the Vietnamese government protects domestic manufacturing. Although Vietnam is a member of the ASEAN Free Trade Area, automobile imports fall under an exception. Since January 1, 2018, the 30% import tax has been discontinued as part of ASEAN agreements.[1] Currently, the Vietnamese motor industry is not deemed competitive enough to make exports feasible. As of April 2018, 85% of car sales in Vietnam were produced domestically from CKD kits.[2]

Before the Đổi Mới, automobile ownership in Vietnam was very limited and the vehicles present were imported from Second World countries that were more politically aligned with the government. In 1995 the first automobile factories were built, using knock-down kits to produce vehicles, starting with Mitsubishi, Toyota and Isuzu. Between 2003 and 2006, automobile sales tax was increased from 5% to 50%, thus slowing down car sales.[3]

The Vietnamese car market is relatively small, but the fastest growing in Southeast Asia.[4]

Most automobile manufacturers in Vietnam are a member of the (non-governmental) Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers' Association (VAMA).[5]

Auto parts[edit]

Vietnam has a 900 million USD trade surplus in car parts, totaling 4.4 billion USD of car part exports. Most of this production is by foreign owned businesses operating in Vietnam. In total the number of parts suppliers was 226 in 2018.[6]

Foreign brands[edit]


GM owned a CKD-kit assembly plant in Hanoi, but the plant was sold to Vinfast in 2018.


Daihatsu subsidiary Vindaco produced the Terios from CKDs in Vietnam.[7] The company was dissolved after four years after sales proved too low.[8]



Ford Vietnam is a joint venture between Ford Motor Company (75%) and Song Cong Diesel Company (25%), with assembly taking place in Hải Dương province in the north of Vietnam.


Hino trucks are built in Vietnam in a joint venture with Vinamotor. Hino has been present in Vietnam since 1996.[9]


The Honda City is a fairly popular car in Vietnam.

Honda Vietnam is a joint venture of Honda and the Vietnam Engine and Agricultural Machinery Corporation (VEAM). It is the top selling motorcycle brand in Vietnam, and operates three motorcycle factories and one car factory in Vietnam.[10]


Vietnamese Hyundai i10

Hyundai models are manufactured from CKD kits by Hyundai Thanh Cong Auto, a joint venture between Hyundai and Vietnam's Thanh Cong Auto. Hyundai reportedly strongly considered building a manufacturing plant in Ninh Binh, to produce the Grand i10 model.[4][11]


Vietnamese Kia Morning

Since 2008, Kia Motors vehicles are produced from CKD kits by THACO Kia, a joint venture with THACO, at a plant in Chu Lai. Models produced are the Kia New Morning, Kia Forte, Kia Sorento, Kia Carens, Kia Cerato, Kia Optima.[12][13]


Through its joint venture with THACO, Vina Mazda Automobile Manufacturing, Mazda 2 models are produced at a plant in Nui Thanh. The plant has a production capacity of 10,000 vehicles per year and employs 300 workers.[14]


Vietnamese Mitsubishi Pajero security van

Mitsubishi Motors is active in Vietnam through its Vina Star Motors Corporation joint venture with Malaysian PROTON Holdings. In 1997 production of Mitsubishi vehicles was started with the Mitsubishi Delica van, with other vehicles being the Mitsubishi Pajero and Mitsubishi Canter.[15]



Suzuki builds cars in Vietnam through its Visuco subsidiary, operating in a factory in Bien Hoa, Dong Nai Province.[16] The factory produces the Super Carry, Ertiga, Grand Vitara, Vitara and Swift, as well as the Impulse 125 Fi, Hayate 125, UA125-T, Viva 115 Fi, Raider 150 and Axelo 125 motorbikes. Annual production is 6000 motor vehicles and 100,000 motorbikes.[17]


Toyota Innova

Toyota Motor Vietnam uses CKD kits to produce vehicles for the domestic market. Vehicles produced are the Corolla Altis,[18] Vios, Fortuner (CKD production discontinued in 2018) and Innova.[19] It produced 41,000 vehicles in 2017.[20] Toyota holds the highest market share among passenger vehicle sales in Vietnam, at 23%.[21]


Daimler AG assembles various Mercedes-Benz models from CKD kits at its factory in Ho Chi Minh City.[22] The first car assembled by Mercedes-Benz Vietnam was an E-Class in 1996. The factory is a joint venture with Sai Gon Mechanical Engineering Corporation.[23] In 2017, the factory built 6.000 vehicles.[22]

Licensed production[edit]

SAMCO produces Hyundai buses under licence.

Domestic brands[edit]


VinFast is the only domestic passenger vehicle brand in Vietnam. In August 2018, General Motors sold its Vietnamese operations to Vinfast, granting the latter distribution rights of GM models in Vietnam, and transferring its Hanoi plant to Vinfast. Vinfast will use the plant to produce its own developed vehicles, in addition to the already planned plant in Haiphong. The CEO of Vinfast is former GM executive Jim DeLuca.[24][25]

Former domestic brands[edit]


Vinaxuki produced light commercial vehicles.

La Dalat[edit]

La Dalat was a Citroen 2CV based car designed by French Citroen engineers based in Vietnam. 5,000 vehicles were produced between 1969 and 1975, making it the first car produced in Vietnam.[26][27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Many carmakers join Honda, Toyota in suspending exports to Vietnam - Tuoi Tre News".
  2. ^ SALES REPORT (APRIL 2018)
  3. ^ Vietnam’s Automotive Component Industry: Ready to go global? (Report). PricewaterhouseCoopers. 2007.
  4. ^ a b "Hyundai Motor considering plant in Vietnam".
  6. ^ VnExpress. "Vietnamese firms conspicuously absent as auto parts industry thrives - VnExpress International".
  7. ^ Xe địa hình giá rẻ Daihatsu Terios của Vindaco Xuân Thu - VnExpress 7/1/2003, 14:00 (GMT+7)
  8. ^
  9. ^ HINO
  10. ^ VIR, Vietnam Investment Review - (21 October 2017). "Honda Vietnam makes bank on Vietnamese motorcycle market".
  11. ^ "Hyundai Motor to build assembly plant in Vietnam: report".
  12. ^ "THACO".
  13. ^ "Local car-maker wins Kia Motors' Best Global Partner".
  14. ^ "MAZDA: Mazda2 Local Assembly Begins at New Vietnam Plant - News Releases".
  15. ^ Press Release | Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
  16. ^ COFICO | Visuco Automobile Factory
  17. ^ Việt Nam Suzuki
  18. ^ "Toyota Vietnam recalls cars with faulty absorbers - Xinhua -".
  19. ^ VIR, Vietnam Investment Review - (18 November 2017). "Toyota Motor Vietnam adapts to ASEAN challenge".
  20. ^ "August sales up for Toyota Vietnam".
  21. ^ "Vietnam Wants to Make Its Own Cars".
  22. ^ a b
  23. ^
  24. ^ Nguyen, Mai. "GM to transfer Vietnam operation to Vingroup's car arm, eyes sales..."
  25. ^ "Vingroup appoints foreign CEO for VinFast - News VietNamNet".
  26. ^ "LA DALAT".
  27. ^ "Made In Vietnam: La Dalat - Saigoneer".

External links[edit]