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Vietnam is picking up speed

May 25, 2018

The second Automechanika Ho Chi Minh City in April 2018 reflected the optimistic mood on the Vietnamese automotive market. The response from exhibitors – and the trends for the future

Automechanika Ho Chi Minh City
Automechanika Ho Chi Minh City is already Vietnam’s leading trade fair for automotive services (photo: Messe Frankfurt)

‘We have been serving Vietnam as a market for nine years now and have grown enormously over the last two years’, observes Vincent Prinzing, Export Area Manager for Liqui Moly, whose remit includes the firm’s Vietnamese customers. The German company specialises in lubricants and engine oils and was able to strengthen its local business relations in person at the second Automechanika Ho Chi Minh City. There is a sense of optimism in the industry. The Vietnamese are increasingly focusing on cars, and more and more foreign companies are positioning themselves in this dynamic market. ‘Our stand at Automechanika was not only a statement for our brand, but also a sign of our plans in Vietnam. We want to distribute our entire product range throughout Vietnam as soon as possible. We were able to present and communicate this outstandingly well at the fair’, says Prinzing. 

Automechanika brings local and international manufacturers together

Automechanika Ho Chi Minh City is already Vietnam’s leading trade fair for automotive services with 360 exhibitors and 8500 visitors attending the last fair. Following its première in 2017, this year’s fair strengthened the internationalisation of its offerings with new pavilions by Germany, China and the United Arab Emirates. However, local manufacturers and dealers are also developing rapidly and are further boosting demand for spare parts and aftermarket services.

‘We will position ourselves strongly in Asia, and especially in Vietnam’, says Danilo Meiß, BU Director Sales IAM Asia & Australia/Pacific at German automotive supplier Elring Klinger, and is enthusiastic about Automechanika Ho Chi Minh City. ‘There is a noticeable sense of optimism and the economic development is enormous. The stronger our presence there, the more we will benefit from these developments’.

Growth in economy strengthens the automotive market

Mopeds, scooters and motorbikes are still the number one means of transport in Southeastern Asia, but cars are on the rise (photo: iStock)

The driving force behind this dynamism in the automotive market is a growing middle class that is increasingly interested in cars – and sees them as an alternative to the ubiquitous two-wheelers. After all, mopeds, scooters and motorbikes are still Vietnam’s number one means of transport. Almost one in two of 94 million inhabitants has a motorised two-wheeler. Even more extreme is Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s largest metropolis: for every eight million people there are eight million two-wheelers. The cityscape is dominated by moped drivers winding through the traffic in hordes. The motorbikes are also in continuous use in the country, where they often have to drive on roads with poor surfaces. This requires special products and services tailored to the Vietnamese market, for which Automechanika offered an exposed platform, such as “Motorcycle Competence”.

Cars are so far a barely visible entity in Vietnam. That will soon change. Production of the first Vietnamese car, named VinFast, is also scheduled to start in 2019. In addition, a free trade agreement that will soon come into force will promote the exchange of goods with the EU and thus also the sale of cars from Europe. And climate protection and more efficient drive systems for cars and motorbikes are also rapidly gaining in importance. This is the most important topic of all because cities in developing and emerging countries are growing as fast as at the time of the industrialisation of Europe. Almost all megacities are located in countries of the Second World – and they will determine the mobility of the future. As we’re all aware, mobility in developing and emerging countries must be sustainable many times faster than is the case in the industrialised nations. There will be no shortage of topics at the upcoming Automechanika in Ho Chi Minh City from 28 February-2 March 2019. 

Noch sind Mopeds, Roller und Motorräder Fortbewegungsmittel Nummer eins in Südostasien, doch Autos sind auf dem Vormarsch (Foto: iStock)

A car for Vietnam

(Photo: Vingroup)

‘Vietnamese identity, Italian design, German engineering, international standard’ – this is how the first Vietnamese car brand VinFast advertises its models. Although the brand was only founded by the Vingroup in 2017, production is scheduled to start next year in the port city of Haiphong. The factory is currently under construction and is expected to produce half a million vehicles by 2015, including two-wheelers. During development, the focus is on electric drives. A limousine and an SUV are expected to be presented at the Paris Motor Show in October 2018.

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