Truong Hai Auto Corporation (THACO) has just revealed to resume assembling BMW cars in Vietnam a decade after the German carmaker stopped manufacturing operations in the country.
|X2 is the latest CBU model of BMW in Vietnam |
At the conference on strengthening the development of Vietnam's supporting industry held reccently by the Government Office, THACO chairman Tran Ba Duong said that the corporation started assembling mid-range-segment vehicles like KIA and Mazda, then moved to assemble European near-premium-segment brands like Peugeot, and is now targeting BMW.
The chairman said that the corporation has yet to fix a specific time or the models to be assembled. In order to secure an agreement with BMW, the manufacturer has to equip a modern manufacturing line and prepare financial resources.
THACO has been officially permitted to distribute German luxury cars from January 2018, after BMW cancelled its contract with the previous distributor Euro Auto after it was found to have used forged documents to import and smuggle cars.
In early-2018, this manufacturer announced launching 15 showrooms of BMW and MINI across the country by 2019. However, by the end of 2018, the company has re-opened three showrooms of Euro Auto, including one in Hanoi, two in Ho Chi Minh City: one for BMW and one for MINI.
THACO did not disclose the sales of BMW. However, according to Vnexpress.net, about 400 BMW vehicles were sold in the first half of the year. The latest completely-built-up (CBU) model is X2, while the X3 model will arrive next year.
Meanwhile, the peak sales made by the previous distributor Euro Auto was 1,800, including 1,400 BMW and 400 MINI vehicles.
Previously, BMW used to be assembled in Vietnam from 1994 by Vietnam Motors Corporation (VMC) at Trieu Khuc Street, Thanh Xuan district, Hanoi with the monthly output of 100-150 vehicles, including the 525i, 328i, 325i models. Due to the poor performance, this factory halted manufacturing in 2005, and spent the next two years to sell the vehicles in store.
Currently, Mercedes is still the only luxury cars assembled in Vietnam, leading the sales charts with a good lead on other players. If BMW is assembled in Vietnam and its price reduces accordingly, the brand will become a heavy-weight contender for Mercedes and other models in the same segment, such as VinFast Sedan Lux A2.0 and VinFast SUV Lux SA2.0, which will be sold from the autumn of 2019.