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|Mitsubishi Xpander has become the rising star in the first half of 2019|
Mitsubishi Xpander was a surprise entry among the ten best-selling cars in the first half of 2019. Launched in the Vietnamese market in August 2018, due to difficulties in importing the model only sold 990 cars as of the end of last year.
However, in 2019, Mitsubishi's seven-seat multiple-purpose vehicle (MPV) has passed Toyota Innova to lead the MPV segment in Vietnam. In the first half of the year, Expander achieved sales of 7,544 vehicles, ranking fifth among the best-selling models in the market.
Toyota Vios continues to lead the market with 12,451 cars sold in the first half, far ahead of the No.2 Hyundai Accent (8,785 vehicles sold).
According to a report of the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA), sales of the entire automobile market in the first half of the year reached 154,273 vehicles, up 21.2 per cent over the same period last year. In particular, the consumption of imported cars tripled over year, hitting 62,542 vehicles.
In 2018, the sales of imported cars fell sharply due to the influence of Decree No.116/2017/ND-CP regulating the conditions for production, assembly, import, and trading of automobile warranty and maintenance services. By August 2018, the wave of imported cars began to bounce back after most firms completed the required documents and procedures.
According to data from the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, there were nearly 77,800 cars imported to Vietnam in the first six months of 2019, six times more than in the same period last year.
Contrary to imported cars, assembled automobile sales decreased by 14 per cent over the same period.
The Vietnamese automobile market in the first half of 2019 has been heating up with the launch of a series of new models, from affordable to luxury cars, including the seven-seater MPV segment with Suzuki Ertiga imported from Indonesia. Toyota Fortuner switched to assembly instead of import. Hyundai launched an upgrade for the Elantra sedan and Tucson crossover. Lexus brought to Vietnam the ES and RC300 models. Volvo began distributing the XC40.
In addition, over the past few months, car manufacturers also ran discount programmes such as Mazda CX-5 discounting all three versions by VND50 million ($2,174), Isuzu D-Max slashing prices by VND30-70 million ($1,304-3,043), and Mitsubishi Outlander by more than VND50 million ($2,174).
In June, Toyota reduced the prices of most models like the Vios by VND40-50 million ($1,739-2,174), Altis by VND70 million ($3,043), or Wigo by VND30-40 million ($1,304-1,739).
In June, the first Fadil cars under the Vietnamese brand VinFast were handed over to customers. Fadil belongs to the class A car segment, using a 1.4L engine and a CVT automatic gearbox. Vehicles are being sold at the preferential price of VND394.9 million ($17,169) and will return to VND465 million ($19,826) from September 1.
Right after VinFast Fadil, Honda Brio was also officially launched with the price of VND418-454 million ($18,173-19,739).
Along with them, Kia Morning is priced at VND290-393 million ($12,608-17,086); Hyundai Grand i10 costs VND315-415 million ($13,695-18,043); Suzuki Celerio is VND329-359 million ($14,304-15,608); Toyota Wigo is VND345-405 million ($15,000-17,608); and Mitsubishi Mirage is VND350.5-450.5 million ($15,217-19,565).
In the first six months this year, Hyundai Grand i10 led the small car segment with 8,184 vehicles sold, followed by Kia Morning (5,469) and Toyota Wigo (3,720). The rest of the names in the segment are Mitsubishi Celerio (652) and Mitsubishi Mirage (410).