Vietnam's VinFast hits troubled waters in US, may delay $4 billion factory plans

  • VinFast sold 30,000 cars across the world in 2023. Just its one plant in Vietnam has an annual production capacity of three lakh units.
VinFast VF 8
VinFast offers electric models like VF 6, VF7, VF 8 (in pic) and VF 9 in the US markets. (AP)
VinFast VF 8
VinFast offers electric models like VF 6, VF7, VF 8 (in pic) and VF 9 in the US markets.

Vietnam's electric vehicle (EV) maker VinFast began an ambitious journey in the United States when it announced a factory in the United States in 2022. The company began delivering imported cars to customers here in March of 2023. The company made its Nasdaq debut in August of the same year. But the enthusiasm and momentum may have ebbed notably in just less than a year owing to lacklustre reception from the Americans. A Reuters report now highlights that the company may push back the timeline for local production in the country.

As per Reuters, VinFast sold fewer than 1,000 EVs in the US in 2023, significantly lower than what was initially expected. This may have resulted in a re-think on factory completion timeline because the facility is expected to have an annual capacity of 1.50 lakh units each year when up and running.

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Also Read : VinFast's stock plunges by 65% amid poor EV sales

The under-construction VinFast facility is located in the North Carolina state. The Reuters report, citing information received from a person in the know of the entire matter, states that completion plans have once again been pushed back. Initially, the plant was scheduled to be completed by July of 2024 but this was pushed back to 2025. Even this new timeline may have now been deferred.

Of ambitions and actions

VinFast was founded in 2017 by Vingroup with Vietnam's first-ever billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong at the helm. While cars were in focus, the company decided to follow an EV-only strategy from 2022. And while it has since spread its wings to various markets across the globe, it is yet to register profit. While performance in the US has been lacklustre, the going for VinFast has hardly been impressive anywhere else. The company sold 30,000 units across markets and most of these were in its home base of Vietnam where it has a factory that has an annual production capacity of three lakh cars.

Also Read : VinFast VF 3 receives over 27,000 bookings in 66 hours in Vietnam

This has hardly stopped VinFast from even announcing facilities in countries like Indonesia, Thailand and even India. But in a world that is witnessing cooling EV sales, the path ahead may be getting tougher still.

First Published Date: 29 May 2024, 19:00 PM IST

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