By on June 14, 2019

Real-estate conglomerate Vingroup JSC’s auto unit, VinFast, rolled out its first model today, which also means Vietnam officially has a automaker. Starting with the Fadil hatchback, VinFast eventually plans to produce a sedan, sport utility vehicle, and some electric motorbikes.

VinFast’s primary goals include flexing Vietnam’s burgeoning industrial abilities while supporting the country with affordable vehicles citizens might be interested in. Easier said than done when the nation’s average annual income is around $2,600. Yet Vietnam is growing by leaps and bounds, supplying more individuals with the means to purchase their own car. 

Still, the Fadil needs to remain affordable; the company is pricing it starting at 394.5 million dong (about $16,900 USD). However, pricing won’t be the only issue VinFast will have to confront as a new player in the industry.

“Product quality is a concern,” Truc Pham, a senior analyst at ACB Securities JSC in Ho Chi Minh City, told Bloomberg. “Vietnamese people favor foreign brands for high-value products. It will take years for customers to accept a new local brand.”

With an assembly line now humming, VinFast said it will begin delivering cars to customers on Monday and plans on giving global brands selling within the country’s borders what-for. Based on the Opel Karl Rocks, the Fadil won’t be the company’s only model for long. VinFast showcased the Lux A2.0, and Lux SA2.0, at the the 2018 Paris Auto Show to preview its upcoming sedan and SUV.

While both are still said to be affordable enough to sell in Vietnam, there should be a price disparity between future models and the inexpensive Fadil. VinFast’s next models will use BMW architecture and incorporate designed penned by Pininfarina. Roughly the same size as the BMW X5 (F15) and 5-Series (F10), both cars are said to utilize a 2.0-liter engine producing 228 hp.

Sales will be isolated to Vietnam and nearby Asian markets for the time being, though the manufacturer has already said it hopes to export vehicles to Europe and North America eventually.

From Bloomberg:

VinFast plans to make 250,000 vehicles during a first stage of operations, with projected production increasing to 500,000 vehicles a year by 2025. Last year, the company said it expects to begin exports in mid-2020.

The company said it received 10,000 vehicle pre-orders a year ago. Vietnamese purchased 119,497 new vehicles in the first five months of the year, an 18 percent jump from the year-earlier period, according to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.

“This makes a great contribution to the national economy,” Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in a speech during a ceremony at VinFast’s factory complex in Haiphong. “It affirms the Communist Party’s policy that the private sector is a very important driver of the economy. I want VinFast to go to the regional and global markets.”

[Images: TommyTeo/Shutterstock]

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47 Comments on “Waiting On World Domination: Vietnam’s VinFast Launches First Model...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I know I’ve always longed for a VinFast Fadil, doesn’t everyone?

    • 0 avatar
      James Charles

      Lieme,
      So, what have you achieved in life? You seem to denigrate most anything that isn’t US. Is this due to your insecurity?

      Its good to see anyone try and build vehicles, and you must start somewhere. And for initial production these vehicles don’t look half bad. I hope they make a diesel dual cab 4×4 pickup and export them.

      Learn how to give kudos when earnt and stop with your arrogance, it seems many American’s of your ilk are quite “French”.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        I was making a joke about the name, lighten-up :)

        But, to be honest I don’t care if Vietnam succeeds or fails in making cars that anybody wants. Enjoy your Fadil if it ever makes it to where you are

        You have a great day

    • 0 avatar
      Guitar man

      The more important part of this story which TTAC has missed, is that VinFast has taken over the production facilities and dealer network of GM Vietnam, yet another market abandoned by GM.

      The Fadil is in fact, a Chevrolet Spark.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    The sedan doesn’t look half bad actually. And it comes with the added bonus of not looking like a BMW despite in essence being one.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      To quote James May, “my dong is wet.”

    • 0 avatar
      James Charles

      Ermel,
      I agree. These first attempts appear to be nice and more advanced than China’s first attempts at vehicle production. Actually for those who remember Hyundai made some poor vehicles in the beginning. Yet companies like Chrysler have been around for yonks and still have issues.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The first Hyundai cars were actually very good. They offered excellent value too and survived in the US only because it.

        The early ones were around for decades.

        Americans won’t put up with rubbish cars, no matter how low the price. That’s why so many brands have failed here, but sell in high numbers in other markets.

        When global automakers (and pickup makers) skip the US, it’s for a very good reason…

        Then there’s US “Lemon Laws”!

        • 0 avatar
          James Charles

          DenverMike,
          First, you really need to get your facts straight.

          Have you heard of the Hyundai Pony, some of our Canadian friends would have heard. It was known for poor quality.

          As for vehicle quality, your very own Made in ‘Murica Chrysler is known for poor quality. Rubbish made in ‘Murica.

          We even sell 1 Star AN/ENCap Jeep Wrangler and 3 Star Ford Mustangs in Australia. This is worse than any Indian or Chinese vehicle. The Chinese even have a 5 Star pickup in Australia called LDV T60. LDV stands for Leyland DAF Vehicles. The chassis and engine (2.8 diesel) are based on the new Colorado.

          As for Lemon Laws, I know your agriculture has lots of interference by the government, I didn’t think lemon orchards would of been of interest to the Feds.

          In Australia we have what’s called Consumer Affairs. I think its apart of the Department of Industry and Trade. Not agriculture as in the US with your Lemon Laws. Even your pickups with the Chicken Tax is involved in the US Department of Agriculture.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Thank you for your reply. The US never got the original Pony. As far as “Quality”, the Excel was no Accord or Camry, but was $4,995. So you got what you paid for.

            The Excel was well received and they were everywhere, with good reviews. They didn’t set the world on fire, but they were reliable transportation, no drama, and provided great value for US consumers.

            The Mitsubishi Precis was a “badge engineered” Excel, and of course Mitsu wasn’t known for selling junk.

            Yeah they were Korean imports and the butt of jokes. If you could afford it, you bought “Japanese”.

            Unlike their coveted Japanese competition, Hyundais were driven hard, abused, neglected, passed around like cigarettes, and had a hard life.

            They were only considered “junk” or ghetto, and the butt of jokes because of it.

            ENCAP will rate poorly cars not having stability control and similar, but ENCAP fails by giving a high rating to dangerous cars with outdated and primitive crash protection, passenger intrusion, meaning old platforms, some dating back to the early ’80s (common in Australia/Africa), are only judged by the crash standards of the 1st year the platform went on sale.

            I figured you wouldn’t understand “US Lemon Laws”. Global automakers do, and no doubt avoid the US if their cars/pickups won’t hold up and they’ll be buying them back. No way, That’s what your market is for, including Africa and SE Asia.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “@BAFO – Thank you for your reply”

            Yeah, I just figured out that our bogan friend “James Charles” is none other then… BAFO!

            Either that or Australia is now totally hopeless

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            He’s even more “BAFO” than BAFO… Maybe 2X if that’s possible.

            BAFO came back with vengeance, especially now that BAFO knows he’s invincible. All BAFO has to do is keep changing/rolling his ‘user name’ every time he’s banned, so he’s now doubling down on his carpet bombing, ad nauseam.

          • 0 avatar
            James Charles

            Lie2me and DenverMike,
            Is bafo a ‘murican slang term for baffled?

            So, I think its apt to rename you guys ….. BaffleMe and BaffleMike and you can call me Baffle!!

            First to BaffleMike, you are baffling and contradictory in many comments you put forward. You approach each comment as a pillar, linear, when infact the auto industry is a matrix of suppliers, in different countries all reliant on each other.

            What’s occurring (US initiated) is the opposite of what should be occuring which is integration and interoperabilty between auto manufactures, suppliers and nations.

            This means reducing barriers that impede trade. Not just the auto industry but all industries, this improves competion and progress …… and money.

            As for Hyundai, this Vinfast could be successful or become a Proton and fail due to protectionism.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Wouldn’t exactly say good.

          That being said, Hyundai’s reliability started to improve one they started developing/manufacturing their own powertrain components and stopped using Mitsu’s.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…the manufacturer has already said it hopes to export vehicles to Europe and North America eventually”

    Keep hoping.

    If PSA can’t do it, how do these guys expect to do it?

    Heck, ask Fiat how that’s going.

    • 0 avatar
      James Charles

      SCE to AUX,
      Or just Hyundai or Kia. These first vehicles look okay. Ever hear of Skoda, have a look at what they produced before the Iron Curtain fell.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Do you have a personal interest in this car company? You seem awfully defensive about them. Hey, it’s just a car

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        Rear engine cars that were at the top of what could be purchased in the Eastern block? Cars that were successful in rallying and became know as the poor man’s Porsche?

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @ James Charles:

        I’m not putting down the vehicles. I’m talking about how hard it is to establish an imported brand in the US.

        Peugeot (PSA) got blown out of the US market years ago, and it will cost them billions if they want to return. Fiat’s reentry has been a costly disaster, with a lot of bored, unhappy dealers. And Mitsubishi is trying to recover its lost mojo despite being well established in the US market for decades.

        Even Tesla has faced enormous headwinds as an upstart domestic brand.

        Chery (the Chinese brand) has given up on its attempts to gain a foothold in the US.

        So it seems very unlikely that this Vietnamese company could succeed in this space, particularly if their product has nothing unique or compelling about it.

        • 0 avatar
          James Charles

          The US is a hard market to crack. Even more so now with the current junta in control.

          I think the US vehicle market needs to open up, like Australia did and allow all to have a go.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Your Australian, now I understand

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            ^^ You’re*

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Australia and Africa are dumping grounds for all the junk cars and pickups you can imagine from China, Turkey, India, etc. Yeah it’s a circus and anything goes.

            Did I mention US Lemon Laws? Otherwise the US is the most open, large market for global autos that can meet basic US emissions/safety.

          • 0 avatar
            James Charles

            BaffleMike,
            That’s your comeback? Again start thinking laterally. Connect all the dots in the picture starting with 1.

            Anyone can joint the dots incorrectly and create any picture they want.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Kudos to them for increasing their manufacturing capabilities. I’d rather out source part manufacturing to Vietnam vs. China

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Why? Vietnam is no better than China in terms of human rights:

      https://www.hrw.org/asia/vietnam

      https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019/country-chapters/vietnam

      The report starts with this:
      “Vietnam’s appalling human rights record worsened in 2018 as the government imprisoned dissidents for longer prison terms, sanctioned thugs to attack rights defenders, and passed draconian laws that further threaten freedom of expression.

      The Communist Party of Vietnam monopolizes power through the government, controls all major political and social organizations, and punishes people who dare to criticize or challenge its rule.”

      I’m not saying the West shouldn’t do business with Vietnam, but they will never be a trustworthy partner.

  • avatar
    Manic

    That first tiny CUV is actually a GM design? I didn’t know that Opel Karl Rocks even exists, looks very Korean. I’m wondering if GM got some money for it before selling off Opel to the French…

    Edit: it’s a Chevy Spark. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opel_Karl

  • avatar
    KFL28

    394 million dong? That’s a lot of Dong you need for an entry level car. Nevertheless, the DTRL, is that what it is, looks good.

  • avatar
    Noble713

    **ANYTHING** that improves the air quality in Hanoi and HCMC by reducing the congestion from dirty scooters is to be encouraged. Nothing worse than sitting in rush hour traffic on a scooter and arriving at your destination reeking of gasoline fumes. That, plus the humidity during most months, are the two main reason I try to stick to taxis when I visit. And since these won’t be subject to Vietnam’s crazy 100%+ import taxes, they should be adopted fairly quickly compared to foreign alternatives.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Maybe Toyota should get hold of these designers. At least these vehicles have some appeal. GM would be the one that could get this manufacturer to the US market. Rebadge these as Chevies.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      The Democrats could deal the ultimate whack across the chops to the Deplorables by allowing GM to have these guys make the Camaro in Vietnam if they win in ’20.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      The Chevy badge would fit right into the holes, since this is originally a GM design.
      As absurd and humorous as your suggestion is, the suits at GM are probably putting this to a vote right now.

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        @RHD – For sure. They’d do it in a second if the Dems made Vietnamese products tariff free, which I could totally see happening.

        And maybe they are planning a 55th Anniversary edition of the 1969 Pace Car convertible as the new joint venture’s debut. LOL! That would be a real kick in the tender bits to flyover country, hehe :-)

  • avatar

    At least they do not steal designs like Chinese do and licensed it from BMW (why such an expensive platform is another question). It looks like our Australian genosse are very interested in cheap BMWs and VinFast will be popular over there…

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I doubt the Vietnamese are going to produce a Camaro for GM. I could see a subcompact or a compact car and/or crossover. I doubt the Democrats or even the Republicans have that much of a desire to outsource anymore production.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    Vingroup is owned by a real go-getter kind of guy worth $7 billion or so. Sounds as juiced as the Koreans were in the ’80s, but instead of buying old Mitsubishi clobber from Plymouth Arrows like Proton of malaysia also did to produce mediocrity, at least he started with much better bones for his cars. To make them, he hired all sorts of Westerners to design, set up, build and develop the vehicles and the plant itself, supposed to be costing a couple of billion. Last generation BMWs underneath, Pininfarina styling.

    https://www.topspeed.com/cars/car-news/vinfastfollow-the-birth-of-a-car-company-using-bmw-tech-and-italian-design-from-pininfarina-ar182463.html

    However, for all those who struggled with BMW’s N20 turbo 2.0t engine from 2011 through the end of 2015 with its chain guide issues, and wondered why the B Series engine, both four and six replaced it so soon, well guess who bought the old production machinery!?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Here’s some interesting news: “General Motors recently announced a partnership between Chevrolet and VinFast. VinFast will have exclusive rights to distribute Chevys in Vietnam and will take ownership of the existing General Motors(GM Korea) factory in Hanoi (VIDAMCO). That factory will then build a GM-licensed “all-new global small car” to be sold under the VinFast name.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VinFast

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