VinFast drives expansion plans
    Production facility planned in North Carolina
    Showrooms in the USA, Canada and Europe are scheduled to open later this year

    Electric cars made in Vietnam

    VinFast is a Vietnamese car manufacturer that was founded in 2017 and belongs to the Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup. In 2017, VinFast built a state-of-the-art automobile manufacturing complex in Hai Phong. The following year, the company officially presented its Lux models at the Paris Motor Show. In 2019, the first three models – the Lux A2.0 sedan, the Lux SA2.0 SUV and the Fadil city car – were officially launched on the Vietnamese market. Last year, the compact SUV VF e34 was launched for the Vietnamese market and the larger all-electric premium SUVs VF 8 and VF 9 for the global market. In the same year, VinFast announced its all-electric strategy until 2022 and presented its complete range of electric vehicles in all segments. Reservations for the all-electric models VF8 and VF9 then started this year, and deliveries are expected to start before the end of this year.

    Expansion to Europe and America

    Now VinFast is expanding to Europe and America. According to manager magazin, the company already announced in January that it was building a factory in Germany for the production of electric cars and buses – a cooperation in the search for a suitable location had been agreed with the German foreign trade agency Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI).

    At the end of March there was news about VinFast’s expansion plans for America. VinFast announced that it has named Chatham County, North Carolina, as the location for its first electric vehicle manufacturing facility in North America. The factory will have three main areas: the production and assembly of electric cars and buses, the production of batteries for electric vehicles and ancillary industries for suppliers. Up to 150,000 vehicles are to be produced in the plant every year. Production is expected to begin in 2024.

    The company is also planning to open global showrooms in the USA, Canada and Europe this year. As manager magazin reports, VinFast is primarily focusing on Germany for its expansion into Europe. As the company announced at the European premiere of its all-electric models VF 8 and VF 9, the carmaker is planning to open 25 stores in Germany. 20 stores are to be built in France and five in the Netherlands.

    VinFast could bring suppliers & Co. to Vietnam

    VinFast’s parent, Vingroup, owns a variety of businesses including shopping malls, golf courses, housing developments, educational institutions and tech companies. But with the vehicles, founder Pham Nhat Vuong has turned to an area that can bring advantages for the whole country, as CNBC reports. “His goal is to bring Vietnam onto the global economic stage,” quoted CNBC by Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions. “Most countries that want to reach this level have an automobile manufacturer.” According to Fiorani, automakers could attract related businesses like suppliers, which in turn could create additional jobs and lead to new opportunities.

    Well-known partners

    Although the company is still young and faces many challenges, according to CNBC it is staffed by well-known brands such as BMW and has supply partnerships with ZF, Gotion and Pininfarina, for example. In addition, Vingroup announced in late May a collaboration with Intel to define “a shared vision of future in-vehicle computing platforms and develop scalable in-vehicle computing platforms for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) based on Mobileye technology and infotainment systems.” The aim is to offer Vingroup and VinFast customers “a unique in-vehicle experience” and create “a range of services” to differentiate them from the competition, VinFast explains in a press release. In mid-April, VinFast also announced its plans to “integrate the Amazon Alexa voice experience into its vehicles from 2022”. The announced collaboration with Amazon aims to “integrate Alexa services into the all-electric VF 8 and VF 9 SUVs, making every trip more productive, convenient and fun,” the company said in the press release accompanying the announcement.

    However, it remains to be seen whether VinFast will manage to develop into a serious competitor for Tesla.

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