Vietnam’s VinFast sets their aim at Tesla; To build plant in USA
Jerrica · Mar 3, 2021 05:28 PM
Vietnamese car brand VinFast is planning to set up an electric vehicle (EV) factory in the USA. Work on the factory will start after the company is done setting up their 50-member San Francisco research office in anticipation to start selling cars in California in 2022.
In case you didn’t know, VinFast is founded by Vietnamese billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong back in 2017. The first cars that rolled out of the brand’s factory were BMW-licensed vehicles like the VinFast Lux A2.0 executive sedan (F10 BMW 5 Series) and Lux SA2.0 (F15 BMW X5). They've even released a limited edition VinFast President that dials up the luxury factor.
Breaking into the US market isn’t the only aim that VinFast has, they also have hopes to make their presence known in Canada and Europe as soon as 2022.
VinFast Chief Executive Officer, Thai Thanh Hai, told Bloomberg that the brand’s vision is to become a global smart electric car company and the US market is where it will all start.
They will start by developing high-end models for the USA, which could mean that they’ve possibly set their sights on Tesla.
Breaking into the USA is not going to be easy. Not only will VinFast have to go up against Tesla but classic car companies like Ford and General Motors are also pouring billions into electric car development.
That’s not to mention the many up and coming EV companies that have yet to launch a commercially successful product.
But VinFast CEO has high hopes that they would be able to win over hearts and trust from overseas customers by offering top-quality vehicles with high safety standards and advanced technology.
Although Hai did not reveal details about the timeline or possible factory locations, she did reveal that the company plans to open 35 showrooms and service centres in California in 2021.
VinFast has already received their license to test autonomous vehicles on public streets from the California regulators. They expect to launch their first product by 2022 which will be the VF 32, a D-segment SUV with a 500 km range, and the VF33, a larger 7-seater SUV.
In 2020, VinFast sold 30,000 vehicles, the company has high hopes to sell 45,000 units in 2021. The company only recently introduced their first 3 EV products earlier this year.
Hai said that the executive order by California Governor Gavin Newsom to phase out new combustion engine cars by 2035 served as a sign for the company to hasten their entry into the US market.
Meanwhile, the VinFast R&D Institute and offices in San Francisco, Australia, and Vietnam will continue developing autopilot features for cars planned for the US market in 2022.
There isn’t a time in memory that doesn’t involve staring at cars. After discovering the excitement of watching Schumacher vs Hakkinen, Formula 1 became a major part of life. The love for cars and F1 ultimately led to a job with CAR Magazine. The untimely death of the magazine meant a hiatus from cars at lifestyle women’s magazine Marie Claire before another opportunity came knocking again.