Vietnam spent 126 million U.S. dollars importing automobiles and spare parts in the first two months of this year, a year-on-year drop of 15.7 percent, according to the country's General Statistics Office on Wednesday.
In the period, Vietnam imported 1,700 completely-built automobiles worth 29.4 million dollars, posting respective declines of 31.8 percent and 38.7 percent. Many local vehicle dealers attributed the smaller volume of imported automobiles as well as recent shrunken sales of vehicles in the domestic market to the wait-and-see attitude of potential car buyers.
Under a recent government decree on management of imports and exports in the 2006-2010 period, foreign cars which have been used for five years downward are eligible for being imported from May 1.
Future influx of second-hand cars and potential penetration of Chinese vehicles with fine styles and competitive prices into Vietnam will force carmakers in the country to lower their products' prices, the dealers said, noting that some local firms have shown interest in assembling Chinese automobiles.
Eleven joint ventures in Vietnam generated total sales of 1,517 vehicles in January, down 56.2 percent over last January.
Vietnam imported 17,000 automobiles totaling 280 million dollars in 2005, seeing respective decreases of 24.3 percent and 13.2 percent against 2004, the statistics office said.