The U.S. automotive market is on track to welcome a new EV competitor to the race. VinFast, a Vietnamese-based automaker, recently introduced four battery-electric SUVs at the L.A. Auto Show with the intention of expanding to the domestic market.
The aim for global expansion would mark the first-ever rapport with US consumers and the international automotive community as a whole. Not to mention, its plan to break into the U.S. market comes at a time when inventory demands are at an all-time high and the conversion to electric vehicles is ramping up.
Essentially, VinFast plans to bring a variety of electric SUVs, ranging in size from small five-passenger crossovers to seven passenger SUVs, that appeal to U.S. consumers. While not all the details are revealed just yet, here’s a firsthand look at what to expect from this exciting new endeavor!
What to know about VinFast
VinFast has quickly become a successful venture under the Vingroup conglomerate in Vietnam, which handles everything from real estate to healthcare to automobiles. Established in 2017, the private automotive company is the first-ever Vietnamese automaker to break into the global market and bring electric vehicle production to a U.S. audience.
In VinFast’s short time in production, they’ve managed to claim a stake in the electric race, with ambitious hopes to advance to international markets, as we’re seeing now. Although production started out with gas engines in 2019 in mainly in Vietnam, as of 2022, all manufacturing has switched to efficient battery packs, that further align with the derivatives of fellow competitors.
VinFast’s success in Vietnam has been significant, however, a step forward into the U.S. market will welcome a new territory. Likely one that is more competitive with major namesakes such as Ford and Tesla. As of now, VinFast’s plan is to invest $2 billion in the construction of a plant facility in North Carolina. This factory would become an integral source for manufacturing as the carmaker transitions overseas.
How much does a VinFast car cost?
The first models to enter the U.S. market include the VF 8 and VF 9, which are both set to launch by end of year. These electric SUVs will boost all-wheel drive and up to 402 horsepower on a full charge. However, one of the best features of these electric SUV models is the pricing.
The five-seat VF 8 will have a starting price close to $42,000, whereas the larger seven-seat VF 9 will value closer to $57,000. Once the official launch takes place in the U.S., however, consumers will have a better understanding of the package and pricing options available.
With that said, one of the main differences between VinFast and other competitors is the inclusion to lease battery pack versus buying one. Compared to other automakers, the Vietnamese carmaker is allowing consumers to lease the battery pack in hopes to diminish any consumer fears over battery degradation.
In addition to battery longevity, the option to lease the battery pack gives buyers a unique advantage in purchasing an EV without the big ticket price tag. With the VF 8 aligning below the average new cost for a car, according to Kelley Blue Book, it’s an opportunity for buyers to make the switch to an EV that’s good in size and price.
VinFast’s approach to electric driving may just be the answer for consumers who wish to make the switch but don’t have the means to do so.
Plans for the future
Following the release of the VF 8 and VF 9, the carmaker intends on expanding with three additional electric crossovers to the lineup, including the subcompact VF 5, VF 6 and VF 7, all of which should hit the market by 2023. Some automotive reports even suggest the release of a sports car down the line.
All things considered, VinFast has ambitious plans, but we’re excited to see how well they fare against more established carmakers in the states. It seems for now, they are not hesitant to disrupt an already competitive market space nor bring a systematic approach to electric car buying.
Ultimately, the anticipated opening of the North Carolina plant will allow the Vietnamese carmaker to move production from Vietnam to the U.S. and thereby reach domestic consumers more easily.
Is the VF 8 and VF 9 available to preorder?
Yes! Currently VinFast is accepting preorders with a $200 deposit. The delivery of those orders should happen by late this year, according to representatives. If you’re interested in learning more about the upcoming rollout of VinFast models, click here to visit the official website.
Thanks for reading our feature on VinFast and its awaited entrance into the U.S. automotive market! As fellow auto enthusiasts, we hope you are just as excited for what’s to come in the EV market, especially as more SUV prototypes like the VF 8 and VF 9 become available.