Vietnam’s VinFast to Begin Selling Cars in USA by 2022
Vietnamese automaker Vinfast will begin taking pre-orders in the USA market for its VF e35 and e36 electric SUVs in the first half of 2022 and expects to begin delivering them by the end of that year. This was revealed by Michael Lohscheller, the global Chief Executive of VinFast.
In an email sent to Reuters, Michael Lohscheller who is a former Volkswagen and Opel executive & was named to his position at Vinfast in July, said that the company will unveil VF e35 and VF e36 electric SUVs at the 2021 Los Angeles auto show this November, thus marking the official introduction of VinFast cars to the American market. Vinfast already has an office in California and expects to inaugurate 60 showrooms in USA by next year, he said.
Vinfast has grand ambitions to launch EV sales in the USA and European markets next year, taking on the likes of Tesla and other automakers. Funding that plan is VinFast’s parent company Vingroup, which was founded as an instant noodle business and by now has spread its interests in real estate, resorts, schools, hospitals and smartphones.
Founded in 2017, Vinfast is aiming to compete on vehicle size and price. Additionally, VinFast electric vehicles will also come with a battery leasing scheme which means the cost of the battery, one of the most expensive components of an EV, will not be included in the final price. Furthermore, to fuel its growth, Vinfast has said it is eyeing a public listing in the United States. According to Lohscheller:
“VinFast has a plan for an IPO in USA but specific timing will depend on the market and other conditions. We will reveal more information at an appropriate time in the future.”
VinFast’s current portfolio consist of Lux A2.0 sedan and Lux SA2.0 SUV both designed by Pininfarina and were based on out-gone BMW platform while utilizing BMW sourced engines. Then there is a small car based on the Opel Karl, called the Fadil which is the bestselling VinFast product. Then it introduced the President SUV in September 2020 as the flagship model in its lineup. Whereas earlier this year, VinFast’s first electric crossover– the VF e34 made its debut.
Both the upcoming VF e35 and VF e36 will feature smart infotainment system with voice control, a “Virtual Assistant” and in-car payment services, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) including lane centering assist, collision warning, driver monitoring, fully-automated parking and a Tesla-style vehicle summoning feature. VinFast says, it has been able to incorporate these features through strategic investments, research and development and a global collaboration with automotive industry leaders and start-ups affiliated with VinFast and its parent company Vingroup. According to Vingroup vice chairwoman Le Thi Thu Thuy:
“We have made vigorous investments and conducted extensive market research to create premium EVs that will satisfy the desires of global customers. This is just the beginning. We hope to capture the hearts and imaginations of even the most demanding customers with VinFast’s dedicated service and smart, high-quality products.”