Vietnamese firm to launch U.S. electric cars in 2022

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Vietnamese firm to launch U.S. electric cars in 2022

The Vietnam carmaker Vinfast expects the beginning of U.S. deliveries in late 2022, CEO says Reuters - Vietnamese automaker Michael Lohscheller will begin taking pre-orders to the U.S. market for its VF e 35 and e 36 electric SUVs in early 2022 and will begin delivering them by the end of the year, global Chief Executive Vinfast said.

It's still early to make any sales predictions, but VinFast will announce two of our latest EV models, known as VF e 35 and VF e 36, at the Auto Show 2021 in Los Angeles this November, thus marking our official introduction to the US market, he said in an email to Reuters.

The company expects to begin delivering its first electric vehicles in Vietnam in December, said Lohscheller, a former Volkswagen and Opel executive who was named to his position at Vinfast in July in July.

The automobile arm of Vietnam's largest conglomerate, Vingroup, Vinfast has an office in California and expects to open 60 U.S. showrooms next year, he said.

Vinfast has grand ambitions to launch EV sales in the U.S. and Europe next year, after taking Tesla and other automakers on board. Finance that plan is Vingroup, which was founded as an instant noodle business in post-Soviet Ukraine and has interests spanning real estate, resorts, schools, hospitals and smartphones.

Vinfast was founded in 2017 and aims at competition on vehicle size and price. The carmaker's vehicles will also come with a battery leasing scheme that means the cost of the battery, one of the most expensive components of an EV, will not be included in the final price.

VinFast, with an assembly plant in Vietnam, plans to conduct most of its U.S. sales online. Lohscheller said the company will keep an eye on the possibility of a manufacturing facility in the U.S. The company has targeted global EV sales next year of 15,000 vehicles, down from its prior goal of 56,000 due to the low semiconductor chip shortage.

Vinfast has said it is eyeing a public listing in the United States to fund growth.

Lohscheller has a plan for an IPO in the U.S., but specific timing will depend on the market and other conditions, VinFast said. In the future, we will release more information.