Vietnam's VinFast to launch bigger EV models for America, Europe markets

04, Nov. 2021

VinFast will showcase EV models that are bigger and snazzier than this compact one at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show. (Photo: VinFast)
VinFast will showcase EV models that are bigger and snazzier than this compact one at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show. (Photo: VinFast)

By Celine Chen

VIETNAM, NNA -- VinFast, Vietnam's homegrown automotive maker, will launch the global premiere of its newest two electric vehicles at the Los Angeles Auto Show beginning on Nov. 19,

The unveiling of the bigger and smarter SUV models VF e35 and VF e36 in the big family or compact executive and executive categories respectively at the 10-day event will mark an important milestone in VinFast's global expansion as it grows its presence in North America and Europe, said the budding start-up.

Both EVs boast ADAS or advanced driver-assistance systems incorporating lane assist, collision warning, driver monitoring, fully automated parking, and other features. They are also equipped with smart infotainment for in-car control features like voice assistant, virtual assistant, and e-commerce services.

"These advances stem from VinFast's strategic investments, pioneering research and development, and global collaboration with automotive industry leaders and innovative start-ups associated with VinFast and Vingroup," VinFast said in a press release, adding that its smart and environmentally friendly e-mobility solutions were developed by the technology ecosystem of parent company Vingroup, a Vietnamese conglomerate with wide interests.

Following the official introduction of the VinFast EV brand to the North American market at the car show will be the launch of pre-order and opening of showrooms in the first half of 2022.

Le Thi Thu Thuy, vice-chairwoman of Vingroup, said: "Global demand for quality EVs drives the work of our VinFast team every day. We have made vigorous investments and conducted extensive market research to create premium EVs that will satisfy the desires of global customers. This is just the beginning. We hope to capture the hearts and imaginations of even the most demanding customers with VinFast's dedicated service and smart, high-quality products."

The executive SUVs are two of the three EV models VinFast had announced earlier. The third is VF e34, a small family SUV. All are expected to be priced competitively.

VinFast, which made its international debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, will return to the limelight at Los Angeles at a time when post-lockdown appetite for new cars has risen across the world.

Lisa Kaz, CEO and owner of the LA Auto Show, of the world's most influential auto events, said, "We are very proud to have the first-ever Vietnamese automaker, VinFast, choose the 2021 LA Auto Show to make their North American debut. As a pioneer in supporting consumer adoption of and education on electric vehicles, we welcome electrification and EV brands."

In October, VinFast and Europe's oldest automobile rating organization - AUTOBEST - sealed a strategic partnership agreement to accelerate the transition from internal combustion engine (ICE) cars to environment- friendly EVs in the European market.

For VinFast, the partnership affirms that Europe is one of the key markets in its global expansion strategy and that VinFast EV models can meet the standards in the world's most demanding automobile market.

In July, VinFast hired former Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller to be its CEO to drive global sales.

Established in 2017, VinFast owns a state-of-the-art automotive manufacturing complex with up to 90 percent automation in Hai Phong in northeastern Vietnam. It has an annual capacity reaching 250,000 cars and 500,000 electric scooters.

VinFast has launched a battery rental policy aimed at reducing consumer risks and expenses, ensuring that battery cost is similar to that of gasoline for traditional vehicles.

It is regarded as among the top 10 mobility start-ups from various business segments in the ASEAN regional bloc in Southeast Asia. They include Airovr in Thailand; Angkas in the Philippines; Bussr, mobilityX, Oyika, and MooVita in Singapore; FastGo in Vietnam; Gesits in Indonesia; and SERV in Malaysia.

According to Research And Markets, these countries have witnessed a transformation in the global automotive landscape showing mega trends especially in electric powertrain, shared mobility services, MaaS (Mobility-as-a-Service) and autonomous driving solutions.

It said, "Domestic mobility start-ups have emerged and are rising in ASEAN. With the development of smart cities and the automotive market's future trends, mobility start-ups are likely to achieve greater seamlessness, cost-savings, time-efficiency, and automation solutions."

The electric car market is expected to reach $1.9 trillion by 2028, at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 37.1 percent from 2021 to 2028. By volume, it is likely to grow at a CAGR of 36.2 percent from 2021 to reach 69.3 million units by 2028, said Research And Markets.

The growth is mainly driven by supportive government policies and regulations, increasing investment by leading automotive OEMs, rising environmental concerns, and declining prices of batteries.

The smaller power output segment of less than 100 kW is estimated to account for the largest share of the market in 2021 due to the increasing use of light electric cars in the central business districts of major cities across the world as well as wider implementation of electric cars for shared mobility services, dropping battery prices, and increasing investment by EV start-ups in this segment.

However, the 100 kW to 250 kW segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR over the next seven years because of increasing initiatives by leading automotive OEMs to launch powerful electric cars, more regulations to reduce tailpipe emissions, and increasing EV adoption in developed economies.

The Asia-Pacific region is estimated to account for the lion's share of the market in 2021.

This is primarily due to the increasing demand for EVs and charging facilities, growing number of start-ups offering numerous solutions and services in the electric mobility industry, attractive incentives for car buyers, and regional core competencies of countries such as India, China, Japan and South Korea in manufacturing and technological developments.