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3 Feb 21

Vietnamese EVs coming to Europe

Asian EVs are slowly entering the European market; after the arrival/announced arrival of the likes of MG, Byton, BYD, it’s time for the Vietnamese to give it a go on the old continent.

Vingroup

Vietnam’s automotive industry is partially assembly, parts manufacturing and true manufacturing. The country has had very little success with its domestic brands; historically, there was “La Dalat”, a Citroen 2CV based car that was produced between 1969 and 1975 and “Vinaxuki” that went bankrupt in 2015.

But now, there is VinFast, founded in 2017 by the country’s most important conglomerate Vingroup, a group active in retail, automotive, real estate, education, hospitals, mobile phones and much more. Vingroup is also the distributer for GM in Vietnam.

VinFast

The Vietnamese brand collaborates with household names such as BMW and Pininfarina to develop and produce their vehicles. The Lux A2.0 (sedan) and Lux SA2.0 (SUV) are good looking cars based on previous BMW 5-series technology, of which they also inherit a 2.0l petrol engine.

At the same time, and as per usual, Vietnamese entrepreneurs scan the Chinese market and don’t hesitate to copy strategies that work well, especially when it comes to entering the European and US markets. And the secret sauce is… EVs.

Electric

So that’s exactly what Vinfast did: present 3 EVs, called VF31, VF32 and VF33, with self-driving capabilities. VF31 is a compact SUV (VinFast has been analysing the preference of the EU and US buyers) with 201 horsepower and a range of 300km, VF 32 is a mid-size SUV with up to 402 horsepower and VF33 is a massive, BMW X7-size SUV with the same engine.

Orders start in November 2021, for delivery mid-2022.

Ambitions

The VinFast vehicles are produced in a Vietnamese facility with capacity of 250.000 vehicles per year, although current production is around 30.000 units. Alongside the VinFast cars, the company also produces popular electric 2-wheelers and electric buses.    

Battery production is also in the conglomerate’s scope, thanks to a JV with LG Chem, holder of various world-leading battery technologies. The batteries produced by the JV will obviously end up in the VF 31, VF 32 and VF 33.

Pricing of the new vehicles is unknown at this stage, but should be published in the second half of 2021.

Picture Credit: Shuttestock

Authored by: Yves Helven