Vinfast is a Vietnamese automaker — the first high-volume one. The company was founded in 2017 and relocated its global headquarters to Singapore in May 2022. VinFast's first cars, the LUX A2.0 and LUX SA2.0, were remakes of the BMW 5 Series and X5 respectively. But the brand is about to change tack. After 2022, VinFast will become an EV-only manufacturer. And they are coming to America, ahead of a likely IPO in 2023.
Will Vinfast sell cars in the United States?
That's the plan. VinFast has already opened six stores in California, with plans to expand to more than 30m (also in California). The company is not just going to sell cars in America. They are going to build cars in America. Vinfast announced plans to invest more than $2 billion in a North Carolina factory, set to go live in 2024.
What cars will Vinfast sell?
Vinfast will start with two cars confirmed for the American market, the VF8 and the VF9.
The VinFast VF 8 will be a five-seater mid-size SUV. It will offer Eco (348 horsepower) and Plus (402 hp) versions. Both Eco and Plus versions will come with Standard Range and Enhanced Range battery packs. Range will be between 248 and 292 miles on the WLTP scale depending on the configuration. That will probably be significantly less by the EPA's standard. Vinfast says the VF 8 will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds, come with standard dual-motor AWD and start at $40,700.
The VinFast VF 9 will be a full-size SUV with up to seven seats. It will offer Eco and Plus versions — both with 402 horsepower — with Standard and Enhanced Range of each. Vinfast estimates the range will be between 262 and 360 miles under the WLTP scale depending on the configuration. The VF 9 will accelerate to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds and start at $55,500.
Wait, VinFast wants you to rent the batteries?
Yes. If those starting MSRP's seemed a little cheap for AWD electric SUVs, it's because VinFast is not including the batteries in the cost of the vehicle. Instead, buyers will enter into a mandatory battery rental agreement. Currently, VinFast is offering two plans, a Fixed Option and a Flexible plan.
The Fixed Option will start at $110 per month for the VF 8 and $160 per month for the VF 9 and grant the buyer unlimited mileage. VinFast will also offer a flexible plan starting at $35 per month for the VF 8 and $44 per month for the VF 9. The flexible plan will offer 310 miles per month before a $0.11 (VF 8) or $0.15 (VF 9) per mile surcharge kicks in on mile 311.
VinFast says those rates will be honored for orders through 2022. "Pioneers" who buy a VinFast in 2022 or 2023 will have their rates honored for the life of the vehicle. 2024 customers may get the chance to purchase their battery rather than lease it.
When will VinFast cars arrive in America?
VinFast has not given a firm debut timeline yet. But the VF 8 and VF9 are expected to arrive, at least nominally, in the late 2022 calendar year as 2023 model year vehicles. VinFast may not limit itself to just cars. The company may manufacture its electric scooters for the American market too.