That's not a good sign.
Electric startups usually follow the same sad route. They introduce one model (usually a supercar), and then they drop off the face of the earth.
VinFast seems to be on a different track. The Vietnamese manufacturer started with an ICE SUV based on the previous-generation X5 but quickly moved to electric vehicles. Its first EV was a small crossover called the e34, which seems to be aimed at emerging markets. The e34 is simply too small to make it in the American market, but a few months later, it announced the VF e35 and VF e36, both of which will likely compete in hotly contested segments.
One of these will almost certainly be a direct rival to the top-selling Tesla Model Y.
Even more impressively, VinFast made headlines in July 2021 by employing Michael Lohscheller as its CEO. Lohscheller was a vice president at VW America before becoming the CEO of Opel. In short, he understands the American market.
VinFast also made a point of remaining in the media, constantly updating potential customers about its financial standing. Early in December, VinFast revealed that it was well on its way to securing $1 billion in equity.
This would help VinFast set up its headquarters in California and US-based factory in 2024. The Vietnam startup wanted to live the American dream.
But now its impressive CEO has quit his job, casting doubt on the company. Lohscheller's departure comes roughly six months after he joined the company. He's making all the right noises, stating that he's leaving for personal reasons and that he wishes the brand all the best for the future, but losing such a high-profile person is never a good sign.
Lohscheller will be replaced the vice-chair, Le Thi Thu Thuy. She will not receive the CEO title, suggesting that VinFast may still be on the lookout for an American CEO.
This shock announcement comes just after VinFast said it would reveal three new models at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas early in 2022.