Vietnamese automaker VinFast has disclosed plans to begin US deliveries in late 2022.
As reported by Reuters, the company wants to begin preorders in the US market during the first half of 2022 for two different electric vehicles. That’s according to CEO, Michael Lohscheller.
The company is also planning to begin rolling out its EVs into European markets such as France, Germany and the Netherlands during 2022.
VinFast is best known to Australians as the company that had a brief fling with setting up operations Down Under.
It recently put the ex-Holden owned Lang Lang proving ground up for sale after only owning it for less than a year.
The company also closed its Australian design and engineering office in Port Melbourne, Victoria earlier in 2021.
There were plans for the company to develop its next-generation petrol and electric cars with a staff of around 100 ex-Ford, Holden, Jaguar Land Rover, and Toyota employees.
This Aussie plan was squashed with the company pivoting its focus to North America and Europe.
Founded in 2017, the startup is the brainchild of property developer Phạm Nhật Vượng, who is Vietnam’s first billionaire with a net worth of around $6.5 billion.
The company is a spin-off from its parent company VinGroup which was in fact founded as an instant noodle business in post-Soviet Ukraine.
VinGroup is now Vietnam’s largest conglomerate according to Vietnam Insider, and has interests including real estate, resorts, schools, hospitals, smartphones, and obviously cars.
VinFast has an assembly plant in Vietnam with the company keeping an eye on the possibility of a manufacturing facility in the US according to Lohscheller.
In Vietnam, the company has exclusive import rights for Chevrolet vehicles and has taken ownership of the General Motors Korea factory in Hanoi.
Currently the company offers four internal-combustion (ICE) vehicles in its range, which are all based on previous-generation BMW and GM platforms.
The company recently revealed three new electric SUVs that are bound for export markets, including Europe and North America.
VinFast plans to introduce 60 US showrooms in 2022, but expects most of its US sales will be online.
“It’s still early to make any sales predictions, but VinFast will unveil two of our latest EV models, which are VF e35 and VF e36, at the 2021 Los Angeles auto show this November, thus marking our official introduction to the American market,” said Lohsceller.
The VF e35, also called the VF32, is the medium-sized electric SUV offered by Vinfast measuring in at 4750mm long with a wheelbase of 2950mm.
It’ll be available with the choice of two electric powertrains.
The standard model has a single motor rated at 150kW and 320Nm, while the premium variant has all-wheel drive via two motors said to have a total system output of 300kW and 640Nm.
Fitted with a 90kWh battery pack, the e35 has a claimed range of 504km.
The other model that’ll be available is the VF e36, also called the VF33, which is Vinfast’s flagship large electric SUV measuring in at 5120mm long with a 3150mm wheelbase.
Just one electric drivetrain is offered with two motors and a total of 300kW. A hefty 106kWh battery pack is standard with a claimed range of 550km.
Both VF e35 and e36 models are offered with a petrol engine too, and come fitted with a landscape 15.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system, similar in style to the Tesla Model 3.
Globally, VinFast aims to sell 15,000 EVs in 2022, which is down from its prior goal of 56,000 due to the semiconductor chip shortage.
To fund the company’s growth, VinFast has said it’s eyeing a public listing in the US.
“VinFast has a plan for an IPO in the US, but specific time will depend on the market and other conditions,” said Lohscheller.
“We will reveal more information at an appropriate time in the future.”
As a former Volkswagen and Opel executive, Lohscheller was recently appointed as CEO of VinFast Global and is responsible for scaling up the company’s operations and presence around the globe.
He’s also tasked with turning VinFast into a “global smart electric car company”.
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