The titans of luxury speed prepare for their next grudge match. Their arena: Vietnam.
The motorbikes presently filling Saigon’s streets may need to take a detour. They will soon be making way for some of the world’s most high-performing and luxurious driving machines. Porsche, Mercedes, and Rolls Royce are setting their sights on Vietnam, and the Vietnamese market is reciprocating with strong demand.
At the heart of Vietnam’s new love-affair with high-end automation is Mercedes Benz, who announced at the end of January that it will be doubling its sales agent network.
Choi Duk Jun, CEO of Mercedes Benz Vietnam, said together with the expansion of product items, the enlargement of sales agents will be a key strategy move to help the car maker grow market share in a country with a growing appetite for high-end consumables.
Mercedes Benz, who has the largest number of sales centers in Vietnam with 12 spread across the country, is not alone in vying for the attention of the steadily richer Vietnamese consumer. Rolls Royce, the ultra-wealthy variant of Mercedes’ long-time rival BMW, is also preparing to enter the market. Their looming showdown serves as a symbol of the growing wallets of Vietnamese car buyers – which have been driving many foreign entrepreneurs to study the aspects of doing business in Vietnam.
Ford and Toyota are also preparing to open more showrooms. Toyota Vietnam opened an authorized agent in the central region, raising its total number of agents in the country to 44. Ford is planning to open an agent in the Binh Duong province, while upgrading its Pho Quang branch into an S3 branch.
Vietnam’s car market saw its fastest growth ever in 2016, reeling out 60,000 cars. The luxury car market also rose sharply. 4,401 new customers purchased keys to the Mercedes Benz lifestyle in 2016 – a 22 percent year over year growth rate. Lexus sold 1,665 cars, while Porsche, Audi, and BMW also reported growth but did not list sales figures.