Vietnam's first domestic car manufacturer, VinFast has started operations in North America and Europe, looking to woo customers with its smart electric vehicles. The company's international business expansion plan focuses on the United States, Canada, France, Germany and the Netherlands as its key markets.
Vingroup-owned VinFast will officially launch its two electric car models VF e35 and VF e36 in March next year. Founded by Pham Nhat Vuong, Vietnam's richest man, the group aims to take on the likes of Tesla and General Motors on their own turf in a race to dominate the electric mobility market. It will also target Volkswagen's electric cars in Europe.
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VinFast cars will come with a battery leasing scheme, meaning the cost of the battery - one of the most expensive components of an electric car - will not be included in the final price. This will make its electric vehicles more affordable. VinFast's EV batteries, which will use cells from South Korea's Samsung SDI, will be replaced by the company when they will be at 70% of the full lifespan. The batteries are claimed to provide a range of up to 500 kilometres (310 miles) on single charge.
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The group hopes that with its electric cars and battery leasing model, it will be able to achieve a foothold in the US. It has already made an investment of $2 billion. In the US, the Vietnamese carmaker also plans to sell vehicles online in order to reduce the cost of dealership network.
Currently, VinFast has a manufacturing facility in Vietnam with a capacity of producing 2,50,000 cars every year. The carmaker clocked annual sales of around 30,000 units in 2020 in its home country and is aiming to sell more than 45,000 units this year. In April, the EV maker had claimed that it had already received as many as 15,000 bookings for its VF e34 electric car in Vietnam.