‘Made in Vietnam’ Auto Dream Still Alive

More than a decade ago, the clarion call was sounded for Vietnam to have its own people’s vehicle. That dream is very much alive, with the Thaco Group, Thành Công Group and VinFast stepping up to the plate and getting ready to ignite.

The Thaco Group, founded in 1997 by Tran Ba Duong, started as a used car dealer. As the years progressed, it started making buses and trucks. In 2011, Thaco began building a factory for making buses, the first in Vietnam, which has 80% of its equipment designed by its engineers. Most recently, Thaco inaugurated the largest and most modern bus factory in South East Asia, and signed a contract to export 1,150 buses to four countries.

It now assembles renowned automobile brands such as Mazda, Kia and Peugeot, to add to its remarkable portfolio. It is the only enterprise in Vietnam that manufactures and assembles passenger cars, trucks as well as buses, allowing it to top sales charts in 2014 and 2015.

The Thành Công Group is another conglomerate specializing in the manufacturing, assembling and trading of automobiles and construction machines, and has investments in infrastructure projects and housing.

It became a distributor of Hyundai cars in 2009. It recently signed a new joint venture with the South Korean automaker to manufacture and distribute commercial vehicles in Vietnam. Besides passenger cars and commercial vehicles, the Thành Công Group is also in partnership with the Hyundai Group in the supply and maintenance of lifts.

The final name on the list is VinFast, which is a company under the Vingroup conglomerate. To promote Vietnam and its culture, it hired famous design centres from around the world to design models ‘with a Vietnamese soul and for the Vietnamese market’. In doing so, it aims to produce up to 500,000 vehicles annually by 2025, thus giving people the opportunity to own cars at reasonable prices.

With these major powerhouses in the Vietnamese auto industry spearheading the growth, the country could very well take over as the automotive hub of ASEAN in the near future.

Image credit: http://en.qdnd.vn/

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