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May 29, 2008

New tarriff makes cars a luxury

Ford Motor Company on May 26 announced a price hike for all of its vehicles in Vietnam, its second rise in a month, following a series of import-tariff increases this month.

The price hike, effective from July 1, will vary from $200 to $1,000 depending on the model, the Hai Duong-based automaker said. The Ford Focus 1.8MT sedan will rise by $200; the Ford Escape 2.3 sport utility vehicle by $1,000.

On May 20, the Ministry of Finance raised tariffs on automobile parts and component imports for local assembly by 5-10 percent, the second rise in May after a 3-5 per cent increase earlier this month.

On May 8, Toyota raised retail prices by between $200 and $700. Other automakers apart from Toyota said they were also considering raising retail prices.

Vietnamese consumers were rushing to buy cars last month before a possible further price hike. A total of 13,271 units were sold in April, up 183 percent year on year. This broke the previous months record of 13,081 units.

The jump was fuelled by outstanding sales of commercial vehicles, which reached 8,185 units, up 248 percent.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade , Vietnam has more than 40 automakers and more than 100 auto-part makers and a total capacity of more than 200,000 units per year.

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