Even GM is in its sights. Good luck.
The auto business is anything but straightforward. It's immensely complicated, bogged down with government regulations of all kinds, supply chain issues, customer satisfaction, and the occasional and very expensive recall. But Vietnam's VinFast remains determined to enter the US market with its latest all-electric models, the Pininfarina-penned VF e35 and VF e36, both previewed in pre-production form at this year's LA Auto Show. Aimed at the likes of the Tesla Model Y and Model X, and even upcoming GM-built EVs, these news EV SUVs pack semi-autonomous driving assist systems and other features Americans want. But getting both to market requires money and lots of it.
Reuters reports VinFast's parent company, Vingroup, is currently holding talks with potential investors with the goal of raising around $1 billion in equity.
One of those investors includes Qatar's $330 billion sovereign wealth fund. VinFast could still possibly be heading for a US market listing as early as next year which should generate additional and much-needed funds as well. Company sources declined to comment further about the IPO and private equity negotiations, only that they remain ongoing and that a fundraising deal could be finalized as early as next month.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, VinFast plans to initially build its new SUVs in its home country of Vietnam. If all goes to plan (and it rarely does in this industry) it hopes to open a new US-based factory in the second half of 2024.
An exact location has not been disclosed. In the meantime, pre-orders for the new SUVs will start in the first half of next year. Deliveries should get underway by late 2022. These deadlines are pretty bold considering the two vehicles displayed at LA were not production-ready.
Media was not granted access to the red e35's cabin; the doors were locked. The grey e45, however, didn't even have an interior. In fact, it only had half a steering wheel. Only the top section was there - just enough for something to be visible in photos.