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Small car size A – 23 years of universalizing cars for Vietnamese people – VnExpress


From Daewoo Matiz to VinFast Fadil, A-size cars priced at 300-400 million are the cheapest cars that Vietnamese people can approach.

At the end of 1998, the appearance of Matiz blew a new wind to the Vietnamese auto market. With the asking price at that time about 10,000 USD (equivalent to 130 million VND) and assembled in the country, Matiz became a vehicle that many people wanted to own.

Small appearance, easy to move, and fuel-saving are the advantages that made Matiz change the opinion of consumers at that time, which was towards buying imported scooters of SH and PS models for 10,000 USD.

Matiz laid the first brick for the small car segment, but in the past 23 years, there have been a series of other names that “make rain and wind” such as today’s Kia Morning, Hyundai i10 or VinFast Fadil.

Time to launch A-size cars in Vietnam. Graphics: Ta Lu

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Since its appearance in 2003, Matiz had a slight facelift in 2005. Sales of small car models increased rapidly from a few hundred units and peaked at more than 2,000 units in 2005. At that time, sales of the whole Vietnamese automobile market were sold. less than 50,000 units.

After the golden age of 1998-2005, Matiz encountered resistance from the new name Kia Morning, which appeared in 2004, imported from Korea and later assembled. Morning has a modern look, more flattering to customers, especially women. Kia’s model is also more equipped and spacious than Matiz.

By the end of 2006, the market welcomed the Hyundai Getz model (another name Click), with two versions 1.1 MT or 1.4 AT. Getz did not have much success in the automatic version due to its high fuel consumption, while service customers liked the MT version because it was healthy and economical.

Matiz’s “life” ended in the summer of 2008, which is also when Chevrolet Spark officially appeared. Chevrolet, the American giant acquired Daewoo Korea since 2002, branch companies like in Vietnam then all became members of global GM. The products were then gradually transformed, using both Daewoo and GM brands. So, Daewoo Matiz stopped selling, switched to Chevrolet Spark.

From 2005-2009, Matiz models were still sold in the form of imported products from the outside showroom with the same shape as the Spark. This period witnessed the success of Kia Morning, which is always the top seller in the segment. The Spark had a major facelift in 2009 and 2015 before ending sales in 2019. Models under the Chevrolet brand were also unsuccessful in terms of sales.

Morning dominated the segment until 2014, before the new generation Hyundai i10 appeared. Although before that, i10 officially entered Vietnam in 2010, but the design is clumsy and cramped, so little attention is paid to it.

From 2014-2018, i10 and Morning took turns topping the segment, until Fadil appeared in 2019.

During the period of 2013-2019, although i10 and Morning dominated the segment, other brands were not left out. Mitsubishi Mirage was launched in 2013 with an undersized model that confused customers. Mirage has a larger wheelbase than A-size models but smaller than B, which can be considered A+. Spacious but less equipped and the 1.2 engine makes the car heavy. Mirage was therefore not a sales success.

Fadil is a model with good sales in the A-size car segment in Vietnam.  Photo: Duc Huy

Fadil is a model with good sales in the A-size car segment in Vietnam. Photo: Duc Huy

In 2018, the market welcomed more Suzuki Celerio and Toyota Wigo. In 2019, there will be more Brio. Celerio stops selling 2021. Wigo and Brio sales are flat. Wigo and Celerio both have an old design, little equipment, so they are not successful. Meanwhile, Brio drives well, is spacious, designed to suit young people’s eyes, but the price is too high.

The turning point of the market was when VinFast Fadil sold in the summer of 2019. Fadil broke through with the sale of more than 1,000 cars each month, becoming the best-selling car in the A segment in 2020 and 10 months of 2021. Fadil has the most powerful engine in the segment, many safety equipments. complete and a reasonable selling price.

Doan Dung

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