VinFast, a new Vietnamese electric vehicle tech startup, launches in the US to take on Tesla
In the late 70s and early 80s, Japanese and South Korean automakers succeeded in crackin the American car market. Now, an unknown Vietnamese carmaker wants to do the same with plans to sell its electric SUVs in the United States.
VinFast is a new Vietnamese electric vehicle tech startup that is trying to make its push into the US market. VinFast is a subsidiary of Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest conglomerate founded by Vietnam’s richest man Phạm Nhật Vượng.
In December 2020, Vượng announced that VinFast would develop an electric vehicle and export it to the U.S. by 2021. Vuong pledged $2 billion of his own money to make the improbable feat happen. In November, VinFast unveiled two electric crossovers designed by Italy’s Pininfarina called the VF e35 and VF e36.
Fast forward a few months later, VinFast is now launching in the United States hoping to take on giants like Tesla. The startup has opened six showrooms in California, with plans for more in the future. VinFast is also building a $2 billion factory in North Carolina.
The 5-year-old startup has partnered with leading automotive industry giants, including LG Chem, Gotion, Pininfarina, and ZF. Besides, VinFast’s team consists of alumni from several top automakers, including BMW, General Motors, Toyota, Hyundai, Porsche, Jaguar-Land Rover, Volkswagen, among others.
That’s not all. VinFast has much bigger ambitions. Vinfast Global CEO Michael Lohscheller said in a statement, “We want to become a global brand and if you want to become a global brand, you have to come to the US.”
Phạm Nhật Vượng, who made his first fortune in dried ramen noodles, is a Vietnamese property developer and Vietnam’s first billionaire and richest person. He attended the Hanoi University of Mining and Geology before going to Russia to study at the Moscow Geological Prospecting Institute. He returned back to Vietnam to start the Vingroup.
We covered VinGroup last year after the company reported it was seeking to raise $1 billion in funding from BlackRock and Qatar’s sovereign fund for its electric cars.
Founded 29 years ago on August 8, 1993, Vingroup focuses on technology, industry, real estate development, retail, and services ranging from healthcare to hospitality. Four years ago, Vượng decided to start building and selling cars through the company’s automotive group called VinFast.