“It’s still early to make any sales predictions, but VinFast will unveil two of our latest EV models, which are VF e35 and VF e36, at the 2021 Los Angeles auto show this November, thus marking our official introduction to the American market,” Chief Executive Michael Lohscheller told Reuters.
Vinfast expects to begin delivering those first EVs in Vietnam this December. The former Volkswagen and Opel executive took over at VinFast in July of this year.
He adds that VinFast now has an office open in California and expects to build out 60 showrooms in the U.S. during 2022.
VinFast hopes as part of the launch of EV sales in the U.S. and European markets next year that they can take on entrenched industry players Tesla, Rivian and Ford.
The money comes from Vingroup, an instant noodle business formed in Ukraine, which now operates interests in fields from real estate to resorts to schools to hospitals and smartphones.
VinFast, founded in 2017, says they’re positioned to compete with the big players on vehicle size and price, and their marketing includes a battery leasing scheme which means the cost of those batteries won’t be included in the final price. The company’s assembly plant in Vietnam will supply consumers via sales online to the U.S., and Lohscheller said the company will consider the “possibility of a manufacturing facility in the U.S.” as they go forward.
Lohscheller says his company has projected EV sales next year of 15,000 vehicles, and that he is research ways to fund growth which may ultimately include a public stock listing in the United States.
“VinFast has a plan for an IPO in the U.S., but specific timing will depend on the market and other conditions. We will reveal more information at an appropriate time in the future,” he says.
VinFast has already unveiled their electric crossover: the VF e34, which the company also calls VF31. It is said to have a range of 300 km (186.4 miles), it is 4.30 meters (14.1 ft) long, 1.79 m (5.9 ft) wide, 1.61 m (5.28 ft) tall, has a wheelbase of 2.61 m (8.56 ft), and weighs 1,490 kg (3,284.8 lbs). VinFast opened orders for it in May 2021 in its home country and will start delivering it in November 2021. The company also announced the VF32 and VF33 which represent mid-sized and full-sized SUV entrants into the market.
The VF32 features two permanent magnet motors – one for each axle – and Vinfast says that provides AWD and 300 kW (402 hp) of power.