EU and US: Prepare for VinFast
Brands such as Tesla, NIO and Byton have learned us to reconsider the impact of a newcomer and, eventually, adopt them alongside household names. So, why not look closer at Vietnamese EV manufacturer VinFast?
Get an overview of the major carmakers and their fleet & electrification strategy in the June edition of the Global Fleet E-Book.
A unique story
VinFast is part of Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest private employer; the group is active in the automotive, real estate, healthcare, distribution, entertainment, research, tech, retail and education. Each of Vietnam’s 96 million inhabitants is a potential life customer of Vingroup.
Vingroup is relatively young – about 20 years – and a testament to the country’s high pace of industrialization and modernization. Its corporate leaders are adamant about preserving a start-up mindset, but have been doing the right thing by diversifying and growing both organically and by acquisition.
The automotive branch is even younger: its manufacturing plant opened in 2019 in the north of the country, and is currently producing around 30.000 vehicles against a total capacity of over 250.000 units. It currently produces a compact utility vehicle, a sedan and a larger SUV. Alongside the cars, VinFast also produces electric scooters.
The company is aiming for a BEV-only production and wants to conquer wealthier markets with affordable and good-looking electric vehicles.
Vingroup wants to sell up to 180,000 vehicles in the US, or 1% of the US market. These ambitious targets are accompanied by efforts to become locally relevant, such as a public listing of VinFast on the US stock market. Vingroup’s Chairman and richest Vietnamese person, Pham Nhat Vuong is confident, and has invested $2 billion of his personal wealth into the project.
VinFast will also become available across Europe by the end of 2021, delivering another cheaper EV alternative to the EU market. It’s unsure if the European consumer will be charmed by the Vietnamese vehicles and their production quality, but then again, the perception of the first KIA and Hyundai vehicles was very much different from the brands’ perception today. The recent appointment of the former Opel CEO is certainly a move to facilitate entry into Europe.
Picture Credit: Shutterstock