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VinFast’s American Assault Might Have Hit A Bump In The Road

Key Takeaways

  • VinFast is facing challenges as it expands into the US market.
  • A $4 billion factory in North Carolina has already been delayed once, but now may be pushed out a second time.
  • The plant has also been downsized from its original footprint.

VinFast is a Vietnamese electric car company that only recently launched in the United States. Its first vehicle, the VF8, was not well-received, but it’s still pushing ahead with plans for new cars including the VF9 and a new factory in North Carolina. But it’s now facing yet another hurdle to overcome. The factory broke ground back in 2023 and was scheduled to start production in 2024, but that date was pushed back to 2025. It was also scaled down in size. Now, reports are surfacing that it may be pushed back even further.

VinFast

VinFast is a Vietnamese automaker launched in 2017, and the first-ever Vietnamese manufacturer. A subsidiary of the broader Vingroup, VinFast manufactures combustion and electric vehicles but only sells EVs in the USA, launching four models stateside: the VF6, VF7, VF8, and VF9 – a series of electric crossovers. Plagued with quality control issues, VinFast’s start to life in the US has not been smooth sailing, but with plans to build EVs in North America, it remains committed to growth.

According to Reuters, the $4 billion factory in North Carolina is currently under review by the county to approve new permits for the revised factory plan. Originally, it was due to create over 7,000 new jobs and be a boon to the area.

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The plant is slated to build both batteries and EVs with a capacity of 150,000 vehicles a year. Last year, the company sold just 1,000 units in North America, so it’s not exactly having an issue meeting demand here.

VinFast VF8-1
VinFast

Growing Challenges

Total global sales for 2023 amounted to less than 35,000 cars with most of those in its home country of Vietnam. The factory there has a production capacity of 300,000 units, which far exceeds demand. It posted a net loss of $2.4 billion last year, adding to the bad news. The company is also being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The investigation is over a recent crash in which a family of four lost their lives when their VF8 struck a tree and caught on fire.

Related

VinFast Has Already Opened 18 Dealerships Across The US

The Vietnamese automaker is determined to succeed in America and says it should have more than 100 dealers operating by the end of the year.

VinFast’s troubles don’t stop there, as there are various lawsuits, including one for failed rental payments on a showroom, and according to Reuters, the bulk of its vehicle sales have been to related parties and are not genuine sales. That’s not surprising given the quality issues present in the first batch launched in America. When we drove the VF8, we labeled it as “not ready for prime time,” and we’ve seen little since to suggest any major improvements.

2024 VinFast VF6 5
VinFast

Source: Reuters

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