Vietnam’s Vinfast delivers first electric SUVs, targets US deliveries

Fast electric vehicle (EV) maker prepares to open a store in California

Winfast, which began operations in 2019, is preparing to expand into the US market, where it hopes to compete with older automakers and startups with its two all-electric SUVs, the VF8 and VF9, in which battery leasing drives up the purchase price. .

“The first batch of 5,000 VF8 units will be destined for the US and North American markets. Mass production will start next week,” VinFast’s global chief executive Le Thi Thu Thuy told Reuters on the sidelines of a delivery ceremony at its plant. Vietnam’s northern Hai Phong province.

Thuy said VinFast, which is part of Vingroup JSC, will begin shipping cars overseas in November and customers will receive the cars in December.

The company has recorded nearly 65,000 bookings worldwide and expects to sell 750,000 EVs annually by 2026, starting with the all-electric SUVs VF8 and VF9.

In March, WinFast said it would build a manufacturing plant in North Carolina with an initially estimated capacity of 150,000 EVs per year. It tapped banks in July to raise at least $4 billion in financing for the project.

Nguyen Khac Chung was one of the first local customers to take delivery of their cars at Saturday’s event.

“I thought I would have to wait until November to take delivery of my car, but I was surprised that the wait was shortened,” said Chung, who ordered his EV in January, two months after the model’s launch.

“Battery leasing is a benefit for customers,” he added. “Why should we buy a battery?”

The VF8 and VF9 vehicles will start at $42,200 and $57,500 respectively for US customers, excluding the cost of leasing the electric battery. From September, the company will also offer customers options including batteries.

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