The tightening of control over truck loads and the loosening of control over imports have led to the sharp increase in the number of imported Chinese trucks imported.
Chinese trucks are available in Hanoi, from the shops on Nguyen Van Cu to Pham Hung and Nguyen Xien Roads at prices 5-15 percent cheaper than domestically assembled products.
Thaco’s deputy general director Mai Phuoc Nghe noted that the truck market saw a boom when the Ministry of Transport released Decision No 42 on tightening control over truck loads in circulation.
“Enterprises have to buy more trucks to satisfy transportation demand,” he explained.
Meanwhile, according to deputy director of the Vietnam Register (VR) Dang Viet Ha, Chinese trucks are the most
frequent choice of the majority of Vietnamese enterprises because of their low prices.
Chinese trucks destroy roads
Analysts noted that the Chinese trucks imports recently include a kind of hybrid vehicle between a semi-trailer and dumper, i.e., a vehicle used to carry building materials as large as a container vehicle.
According to VR, in 2014, Vietnam imported 15 products of this kind and assembled 53 domestically.
Meanwhile, 556 products were imported in just the first six months of the year and 595 were assembled domestically during the same time.
A high number of imported products bear the Howo brand, which is known in Vietnam as the ‘road wrecker’.
Recently, Howo launched a new model with more axles and larger tanks that carry more goods.
A senior executive of Thaco, a Vietnamese truck manufacturer, refused to comment about the quality of Chinese imports, saying that it was difficult to compare the quality of Chinese-made and domestically assembled trucks.
However, he thinks that the problem of Chinese motorbikes that occurred 10 years ago may be repeated. At first, Vietnamese imported Chinese motorbikes en masse because they were dirt cheap. But later they hurried to sell the products because of their low quality.
“Importers now try to import Chinese trucks for domestic sale but they do not care about post-sale services,” he noted, adding that the business will not survive in Vietnam.
Vinamotor’s chair also said the market would return to normal by the end of the year.