You've heard the name before, only now it's official.
This automaker was true to its word. Vietnamese carmaker VinFast has officially opened an office in North America along with Europe ahead of beginning sales in both markets. We've known about VinFast, Vietnam's first domestic automaker, for a few years now as well as its intentions to expand beyond its home country. While things don't always go as planned in this industry, VinFast has remained steadfast.
"VinFast has set up representative offices in five international markets and will soon open showrooms in California" the company said. Its US CEO, Van Anh, has already relocated to Los Angeles.
Plans are now entering the advanced stages for its mostly online-only sales network. The lack of official dealerships will help to drastically lower costs for both the company and customers. We do expect there will be service centers, however.
The current plan is to only sell electric vehicles in both markets. The VF e35 and VF e36 are expected to launch next March. We don't expect for the Pininfarina-styled, GM V8-powered President SUV to be sold outside of Vietnam.
Chances are few would buy it here because it's a rebadged BMW X5. VinFast is also currently seeking additional cash. One way to do so is an IPO or possibly a SPAC merger. Nothing has been decided just yet but Reuters claims it's received inside information the company aims to raise around $2 billion.
We'll learn more details in the coming months, but one thing is already certain: VinFast doesn't take criticism well. A couple of months ago in Vietnam, the automaker reported a YouTuber to local police claiming the individual was making false claims about the Lux A2.0 sedan, specifically accusing him of uploading "untrue content" that affected its reputation. The guy removed the content after receiving a threatening letter from VinFast's legal team but was still summoned for questioning by authorities.
We don't know what aspects of the vehicle he was complaining about, but here in America we review new vehicles and give our opinions. The police are never involved. VinFast needs to understand this very clearly.