VinFast sets its sights on U.S. market, with its first BEVs arriving this year. Sales are projected at 1,526, soaring to 22,838 in 2023 and more than 52,000 in 2026.

vin-who? how fast? vietnamese firm has bold plans for u.s. market

HANOI, Vietnam – VinFast is the best-funded electric-vehicle company most Americans have never heard of. The new automaker only started in 2017, but its 5-year history belies the idea that this is another struggling EV start-up.

VinFast is part of the massive VinGroup, the biggest conglomerate in Vietnam, which also runs hospitals and amusement parks, builds massive housing complexes and operates its own university.

VinGroup also owns VinSmart (which wants to become a global tech firm), VinAI (artificial intelligence), VinBigData (data science) and VinBrain (AI for health care) among other brands. As of December 2020, VinGroup was responsible for 2.2% of Vietnam’s total GDP. In other words, there’s plenty of money behind VinFast.

With that money comes ambition. VinFast currently sells both gas-powered and electric vehicles in Vietnam. At the 2021 Los Angeles auto show, VinFast announced it would sell its electric vehicles in the U.S., and now says the first deliveries will happen by the end of 2022.

Wards Intelligence forecasting partner LMC Automotive projects VinFast selling 1,526 units in the U.S. this year, out of a worldwide total of 28,496. In 2023 the U.S. will account for three-quarters of the start-up’s global sales: 22,838 out of 29,547. In 2024 VinFast is forecast to sell 46,465 units globally, with more than half – 25,468 – sold in the U.S. The U.S. will account for just over half of global sales from 2025-2027, according to LMC.

During a recent trip to Vietnam sponsored by VinGroup, Wards was able to tour VinFast’s 828-acre (335-ha) manufacturing facility near the city of Hai Phong. The grounds include not just an assembly shop for the cars and scooters the company builds, but also a paint shop, press shop (pictured, below) and engine shop. The entire plant was built in 21 months. In other words, there’s plenty of momentum behind VinFast.

vin-who? how fast? vietnamese firm has bold plans for u.s. market
vin-who? how fast? vietnamese firm has bold plans for u.s. market
vin-who? how fast? vietnamese firm has bold plans for u.s. market
vin-who? how fast? vietnamese firm has bold plans for u.s. market

In March, VinFast announced it will build an even larger EV assembly facility – this one with a battery plant – in Chatham County, NC. Thanks in part to $1.2 billion in incentives from the State of North Carolina, construction starts this year and the first vehicles should roll off the line in July 2024.

Phase 1 of the project represents a total investment of $2 billion and, when this part of the plan is finished, annual production capacity at the North Carolina plant will be 150,000 vehicles. Future phases could increase that number, if VinFast sees strong demand.

VinFast’s plant is expected to create more than 7,000 jobs and President Biden tweeted when the project was announced that, “It’s the latest example of my economic strategy at work.” In other words, there’s plenty of government support for VinFast.

There are questions, too, about whether American car buyers are going to be interested in an unknown model from an unknown, at least in America, brand. The company is smartly targeting the popular CUV segment with its first offerings from North Carolina (the initial batch of vehicles will be imported from Vietnam).

The VF 9 is a fullsize, 7-passenger CUV while the VF 8 midsize CUV seats up to five. The vehicles will start at an announced price of $40,700 for the VF8 ($55,000 for the VF9) but that doesn’t include a required monthly battery subscription or other fees. VinFast says prices are still subject to change.

VinFast debuted these EVs to the U.S. audience last year at the LA show, but Le Thi Thu Thuy, VinGroup vice chairwoman and VinFast Global CEO, says we shouldn’t expect much mass-market media advertising from VinFast in the coming years.

Instead, the brand will focus on direct-to-customer events such as public test drives and building attractive branded retail stores in high-visibility shopping centers. VinFast already has opened its first six such stores, all in California.

VinFast also will rely on peer-to-peer engagement, as evidenced by the many early reservation holders for a VinFast EV and social-media influencers who had been invited on the trip.

Despite all of the promise that VinFast has as the first Vietnamese brand selling cars in the U.S., success remains a question mark. The pieces are there, considering the strong demand for new cars these days, especially CUVs and, for a growing number of people, EVs. If VinFast can improve on some of the shortcomings of its EVs on the road (https://www.wardsauto.com/vehicles/vinfast-vf-8-needs-more-vim), they have more than a chance. CEO Thuy Le is certainly confident.

“We always deliver what we say we will deliver,” she says during the trip. “We have people, we have knowledge, we have great backing from the State of North Carolina. We’re going to make it happen.”

 

TECH NEWS RELATED

BMW R 1250 R and R 1250 RS To Get Minor Updates For 2023

Type-approval documents indicate that BMW’s boxer roadsters will get slight dimension changes and revised electronics.

View more: BMW R 1250 R and R 1250 RS To Get Minor Updates For 2023

Here Are 3 More Options for Hybrid SUVs With a 3rd Row

If you are shopping for an SUV with both a 3rd row of seating and a hybrid powertrain, you know you don’t have many options to choose from. In this series I lay out all eight for sale and a few more 3rd-row hybrids on the horizon. In Part One ...

View more: Here Are 3 More Options for Hybrid SUVs With a 3rd Row

These 3 Hybrid 3rd-Row Full-Size SUVs Might Be Available Within the Year

If you’re interested in a 3rd row SUV with a hybrid powertrain, you know there are not many options. In Part One of my hybrid 3rd row SUV series, I discussed the options by Ford and Toyota and the Lincoln and Lexus SUVs that share these chassis. In Part Two ...

View more: These 3 Hybrid 3rd-Row Full-Size SUVs Might Be Available Within the Year

Russell: Austin is our best chance of a win in 2022

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W13 in the pits – © Copyright: Coates / XPB Images George Russell has set his sights on the United States Grand Prix as being Mercedes’ best chance of winning a Formula 1 race in the 2022 season. Despite churning out an impressive ...

View more: Russell: Austin is our best chance of a win in 2022

2023 Nissan Altima gets upgraded everywhere but under the hood

2023 ALTIMA Nissan announced the 2023 Altima in June. Now that the family sedan has reached dealers, it’s time for pricing. There are small price bumps to go with the small changes to made to next year’s model. There’s the new Nissan logo all over, larger trim-specific V-motion grilles, ...

View more: 2023 Nissan Altima gets upgraded everywhere but under the hood

Watch How Bajaj Manufactures Motorcycles In Its Indian Factory

Even the most basic of bikes need high-tech manufacturing.

View more: Watch How Bajaj Manufactures Motorcycles In Its Indian Factory

Huck Cycles Overland is a US-made Mad Max-style electric moped proving popular in big cities

Huck Cycles, a North Carolina electric moped maker, is finding that its off-road optimized electric moped is actually proving quite popular for city riders as well. It’s a surprising finding, considering the bike was originally designed for hunters, campers and other outdoor enthusiasts that wanted a powerful but (relatively) ...

View more: Huck Cycles Overland is a US-made Mad Max-style electric moped proving popular in big cities

The 5 Most Fuel-Efficient SUVs Under $50,000

The search for a reliable SUV continues. Looking for the most fuel-efficient SUVs under $50,000 that won’t let you down? J.D. Power says these sport utility vehicles will have you skipping your usual gas station stop while also coming in under budget. The Mazda CX-30 is one of the most ...

View more: The 5 Most Fuel-Efficient SUVs Under $50,000

3 Things Consumers Reports Hates About the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS

Porsche 911 Turbo S Challenges KTM MotoGP, Road Bikes In A Drag Race

3 Comfortable Cars Getting Discontinued By 2024

6 Reasons the 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 is the Electric SUV You Want to Drive

GM's Toledo Propulsion Systems To Produce Ultium EV Drives

Faraday Future FF 91 rated at 381 miles on a charge by the EPA

Macri Banks $26,000 Selinsgrove Prize

Tuned 2006 Ford GT Spreads V8 Music Through Germany In Autobahn Run

What Can You Tow With a 2,000-Pound Towing Capacity?

Here’s Why You Might Actually Want to Buy a Heavy SUV

China's best (or worst) knock-off yet! New Toyota Tundra clone looks mega awkward

Grant Rides The Top At Eldora

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News