The Vietnamese carmaker will start its American adventure in California.
Vietnamese carmaker VinFast has been on the horizon for a while now. While many US consumers are still unfamiliar with the brand, the automaker is set to open the first of its American showrooms in California shopping centers next week. A total of 30 stores will be in California by the end of 2022.
The automaker's vehicles will be sold out of Santa Monica, San Mateo, San Diego, Corte Madera, Berkley, and Commerce. At least, those are the initial six locations, with the ribbon-cutting happening on July 14.
Those California locations are not going to be the only presence the five-year-old EV automaker has here in America.
Shortly, the automaker is set to break ground on a new EV factory in North Carolina. The first vehicles will be delivered before 2022 is up.
These locations build on the presence that VinFast already has Stateside, with the brand's HQ in Los Angeles. Additionally, it has been holding a number of events around California to drum up business, featuring the VF 8 crossover. That model is currently in development by VinFast and will compete with the likes of the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra on price and range, if not on looks.
While the name might be new to Americans, VinFast is an established automaker in its Vietnamese home. The brand has been around since 2017, and like so many, has begun the pivot to electrics. The first VinFast EVs, in the shape of the VF 8 (pictured above), was recently delivered in Vietnam in 2021. A larger, three-row VF 9 will come to America and Canada.
We already have pricing for some of VinFasta's models as well. The base VF 8 will start at $40,700, and $48,000 for the top trim level. The VF 9 starts at $55,500 for the base, running up to $61,000 for the top trim. However, VinFast's site does point out these are subject to change. Given supply constraints, they likely will.
Whether VF can break into the US market is an unknown quantity. Even native Rivian has struggled in the US market, though it operates in a more luxury-oriented space. Tesla struggled initially as well, and these first few years will be formative for the brand.