Vietnam EV Maker to Ship Longer-Range SUVs to US in April

VinFast, an electric car maker backed by Vietnam’s richest man, plans to ship its second batch of EVs to North America on April 4.

(Bloomberg) — VinFast, an electric car maker backed by Vietnam’s richest man, plans to ship its second batch of EVs to North America on April 4.

The company will send 900 VF 8 standard vehicles to California and 900 to Canada, VinFast Chief Executive Officer Le Thi Thu Thuy said in a statement to Bloomberg. VinFast sent 999 VF 8 City Editions — which had shorter range than the upcoming SUVs — to California late last year. The company also plans to ship 700 standard VF 8s to Europe in mid-June, she said. 

VinFast expects to start delivering the standard VF 8 to US customers in early May and Canadians in early June. “We are working toward launching the standard VF 8 and will make sure to have all the required certificates at the time of delivery to customers,” Thuy said in the statement.

The arrival of VinFast’s second North America delivery, and first to Canada, comes as the nascent automaker tries to get a foothold in fiercely competitive overseas markets, having made an apparently slow US start. Forty-five City Edition electric cars, whose EPA-rated driving range is as much as 207 miles, were delivered to US customers at the beginning of March, according to the company. The models are being offered at a lease price starting at $399 per month for 24 months, according to its website.

The standard VF 8 SUV’s driving range is estimated at 293 miles by WLTP standards, according to the VinFast website. That model’s price is expected to start at $49,000 in the U.S. and C$57,500 in Canada, Thuy said.

VinFast, which filed for an initial public offering with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in December, is considering the IPO as soon as the second quarter of this year, Bloomberg reported in January. The company said earlier this month that production at its planned facility in North Carolina is expected in 2025. It had most recently said it expected to start trial production at the plant by 2024. 

VinFast EV Production in US Now Not Expected to Start Until 2025

VinFast said in its updated filing that the City Edition cars were the first version of the VF 8 to go through relevant testing and approval processes in the US and therefore were available sooner than the VF 8 with enhanced driving range.

VinFast’s latest pre-IPO filing also showed the company lost $2.1 billion in the 12 months ended Dec. 31, deepening its spending after losses of $800 million in 2020 and $1.4 billion in 2021.

VinFast is part of Vingroup JSC, owned by billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong, who has a net worth of around $4.1 billion. The company will deliver its first VF 9 SUV models to Vietnamese customers Mar. 27.

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