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Vietnam vexes foreign automakers with import rules

Government steadfast in efforts to nurture domestic industry

Vingroup plans to launch three homegrown models in June under Vietnam's first homegrown brand. (Photo by Tomoya Onishi)

HANOI -- A year on from Vietnam's abrupt launch of regulations on car imports, foreign companies are still struggling to cope while hoping for a lucrative market that should eventually emerge.   

Those rules, intended to nurture the domestic auto industry, have hit imports and led General Motors to abandon local production last year. But Vietnam is betting that its population of nearly 100 million and growing middle class present a market too alluring to be ignored.

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