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Feature: Chinese automobile group seeks to expand Vietnamese market

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HANOI, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Following the "Belt and Road" initiative proposed by China, the BAIC, one of the largest automotive groups in China, has expanded the geographic scope of their business to Vietnam.

The Vietnamese market is expected to be an important step to fulfill the company's goal of globalization, Wang Peng, BAIC Senior Manager of Southeast Asia Region told Xinhua in a recent interview in Hanoi.

BAIC is joining with Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Luxgen, MINI Cooper, Porsche and Renault at the Vietnam International Motor Show 2015 (VIMS 2015) which kicked off on Friday in Hanoi. This is the first exclusive exhibition held by these nine official automobile importers.

Opening its performance, the motto: "To the World in BAIC Way" was introduced to visitors and reporters in a distinctive show with "fire" which wowed audiences.

According to Wang, joining the Motor Show means that BAIC has officially entered Vietnamese market.

At the VIMS 2015, BAIC introduced to Vietnamese consumers its new models of cars. "After studying the Vietnamese market and consumers'demands, BAIC decided to initially promote its middle and high-end cars in Vietnam, and later with more economical models to gradually expand the market," Wang told Xinhua.

As the topography of Vietnam is characterized by high plateaus and mountains, SUV models and Jeep are expected to be welcomed in the Vietnamese market, Wang said, adding that so far, there are no competing products in the Vietnamese market for BAIC's Jeep model.

At present, BAIC has its dealer in Vietnam's northern Hai Phong port city, some 90 km east of Hanoi. BAIC is also setting up its dealers in Hanoi and the southern economic hub Ho Chi Minh City.

"If there is demand from Vietnamese customers, every new model of BAIC cars in China will be introduced at the same time in the Vietnamese market. We will also launch the western versions," Wang emphasized.

Sharing the story of BAIC entering Vietnam, Wang said Vietnam's economy has developed very fast in recent years. Following the improvement of residents' living standards, Vietnam will become a huge market where automobiles replace motorbikes, the latter of which are currently the dominant method of transport here.

Furthermore, Vietnam has geographic advantages compared to other countries in the Southeast Asia region. The Vietnamese government is also pushing the development of supporting industries such as component production, which can be seen as a major advantage in the future if the group set up factories in Vietnam.

According to Wang, BAIC cars attract customers for its new products that have no competing ones so far.

The high frequency of launching new car models and focusing on customer services are also among the advantages of BAIC, Wang added.

"Other Chinese businesses in Vietnam often pay attention to sales volume, but BAIC focuses on service. Combining sales volume with service will be the key for long term and stable development, " Wang emphasized.

Despite the fact that the road to winning Vietnamese customers' recognition "still has a long way to go" as Wang said, BAIC still considers Vietnam a major market in Southeast Asia.

"BAIC will set up four post-sale service centers in Vietnam and build up spare parts assembly factories to meet the local market demand," Wang said.

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