September 25, 2012
By Quoc Hung
Mercedes-Benz Vietnam will keep expanding investments in the coming time despite a strong drop in the local market, plus disadvantages for local auto manufacturers as the import tax on completely-built-up cars is on the decline.
Michael Behrens, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Vietnam, said the economic downturn has prompted some auto producers to shift their investments to regional countries. However, Mercedes-Benz will not do the same.
Mercedes-Benz will continue to invest US$9 million in the ED coating plant using the modern technology Zicrobond which can prevent corrosion and heat. The plant will be operational in next year’ first quarter.
Vietnam is the second country to use this environmentally-friendly technology after Germany. Mercedes-Benz will continue to apply this technology in other countries.
Behrens said that the firm would invest more in production lines in Vietnam to provide a wide range of car models for customers. At the Vietnam Motorshow which will take place in Hanoi this week, Mercedes will introduce its new GLK models.
The production of new GLK models is also an investment of the German-invested auto manufacturer. It is because when a new car model is launched, the manufacturer will need to spend a huge sum on production and assembling equipment, and it is not easy to recover capital for this investment.
“We see Vietnam full of potentials despite current difficulties and believe that the Government will offer supports to help the economy and industries recover,” said Behrens.
Mercedes-Benz opened four dealers in HCMC, Danang, Haiphong and Can Tho in the past year with a total investment of US$13 million. Currently, Mercedes is having 12 sale and after-sale agents nationwide and will open some more agents in the coming time.
* Suzuki Vietnam last week inaugurated its Suzuki World, a large modern showroom that displays Suzuki automobiles and motorcycles with a modern style in HCMC’s Tan Binh District.
Having a total area of 1,700 square meters at 2 Pho Quang Street, Suzuki World is also the first one of Suzuki Vietnam which displays both motorcycles and automobiles as well as sells and provides repair services.
According to Masami Haga, general director of Suzuki Vietnam, this kind of shop aims to build a new image and provide better services of Suzuki for Vietnamese consumers.
Diverse products and services of Suzuki are available at Suzuki World, including technical solutions and new cars such as Hayabusa, GNZ and New Swift.
The opening of Suzuki World will not affect Suzuki agents in Vietnam but help promote the brand name of Suzuki in the country, according to Haga.
Suzuki Vietnam is developing a new auto factory in Dong Nai Province’s Long Binh Industrial Park with an investment of around US$13 million from Japan’s Suzuki Motor. Scheduled for operation next August, this new factory will produce carry trucks and carry vans.
Photo Credit: The Saigon Times