By on January 6, 2022

At the dawn of automobiles, there were tremendously more brands from which to choose in America than there are today. With the rapid transition to all things electric, new companies are sprouting up faster than dandelions on your author’s lawn. Rivian, Lucid, Tesla – actually, when Tesla is the newest company in a particular group of examples, you know the landscape is changing rapidly.

Next out of the gate? A company from Vietnam called VinFast. Last night at CES, they hauled the covers off five different EVs, all of them shaped like crossovers ranging in size from S to XXL.

First, a bit of background. VinFast is an arm of Vingroup, a privately held company that’s been around since the early ’90s and has its fingers in a number of pies including the likes of hospitality and AI development. Their car-making endeavors started about four years ago with a selection of gasoline-powered vehicles, selling about 60,000 units over the last couple of years. Now, they’re switching solely to electric by the end of 2022, technically making them one of the first automakers to fully make the transition. We’ll note such a feat is easier for a low(ish) volume company than a megacompany like General Motors.

Our man Tim saw two of the VinFast efforts while attending the LA Auto Show in November. Now called the VF 8 and VF 9 – part of a fresh naming convention – these two crossover-style rigs are meant to represent the VinFast entry into the D- and E-segments of that particular market. Think of the Sorento and Telluride in Kia showrooms as rough size comparisons and you’ll get the idea.

Both are powered by twin electric motors, giving the vehicles all-wheel drive which is all but expected at this end of the scale. The larger VF 9 is a three-row SUV, good for about 400 horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque. There are two battery options, one of which is said to provide approximately 300 miles of driving range with the other rated at roughly 420 miles. If one can harness the services of a robust Level 3 charger, the VF 9 should be able to replenish its battery from 10% to 70% in about 30 minutes.

Sitting right below this vehicle is the two-row VF 8. Its dual electric motors can belt out the same amount of power as its larger brother, but the total driving range is a tad fewer thanks to a smaller space in which to stuff batteries. Long-range trims will eke out just over 300 miles from its electrons, while a less-expensive model is apparently good for roughly 285 miles.

Speaking of price, the VF 8 and VF 9 will cost $41,000 and $56,000 respectively when they show up in the hands of customers, a timeline which is planned for the latter part of 2022. Here’s the kicker – throwing down a $200 deposit between now and the end of March will net shoppers a $3,000 rebate on the VF 8 and a $5,000 kickback on the VF 9. This is an interesting approach to net a few early adopters who are seeking to keep their costs low.

There is also a battery leasing program, touted as a method in which owners will not have to worry about battery replacement when the time comes. Battery degradation happens to almost all batteries, so it’s interesting VinFast is planning for this from the outset. It’ll be interesting to see how this all shakes out in terms of monthly payments.

The other three machines on display – the VF 5, VF 6, and VF 7 – are progressively smaller in size as their appended numbers decrease. No details were given about their power numbers of battery capacity, with VinFast execs preferring to chat about the VF 8 and VF 9 which are set for customer deliveries in this country by the end of this year. Some have already found their way into the hands of buyers in the company’s home country.

VinFast has plans to open a factory in America by 2024, one capable of churning out a quarter-million cars annually.

[Images: VinFast]

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21 Comments on “Vietnamese Company VinFast Shows 5 EVs at CES...”


  • avatar
    redapple

    Some of the Styling is a little off. Some good.
    I d rather buy Viet Nam built than Chinesium (DW).
    But.
    It would have to be 25% less than USA or Toyota made. Or get lost man.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Agree I’d much rather buy from Vietnam than China. Vinfast’s stuff has been licensed two-generation-old BMW designs until now. I’ll be interested to see what they can do on their own.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        They were smart enough not to go it alone. They’ve partnered with experienced companies like Magna-Steyr and Pininfarina. If I was starting an auto company, that’s the two companies I’d want to work with.

        https://pininfarina.it/en/news-event/pininfarina-introduces-in-paris-a-360-partnership-with-vietnamese-carmaker-vinfast/

        https://www.autoevolution.com/news/vinfast-cars-to-be-built-on-new-magna-steyr-platforms-129089.html

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Vietnam is the new China. Their manufacturing segment is booming, as their labor is even cheaper than China’s. The Chinese are taking most of the profits, though, and using the Vietnamese as underpaid laborers (which is how China makes money – underpaid and unpaid workers).
      Both are communist countries. Somehow everyone forgets that when it comes time to lay down the Mastercard. The people are just trying to get by, but their governments suppresses all the freedoms that Americans stand for.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    If the Make begins with “VIN…” then the Model name better be 17 digits long. Just sayin.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “when Tesla is the newest company in a particular group of examples”

    I think you meant “oldest company”, since Tesla turns 19 in 2022, and the others are newbies.

    My opinion about VinFast has moved from laughable to skeptical. Seems like they are serious, but it’s a hard climb.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Another EV consumer who will readily look at a Vietnamese product long before I’ll consider Chinese. Understandable, but a pity that they’re pushing the 8 or 9, where my market taste would be more for a 6 or 7. And kudos for a model nomenclature that anyone can understand.

  • avatar
    zipper69

    The VF-9 has more than a hint of Telluride about it. And considering the warm reception H/K top dogs have had, it’s a growing market that they seek to enter.

    As usual it’s all bout quality control, if they can pass muster and road test acceptably they could do well.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    VinFast–isn’t that Vin Diesel’s Bring A Trailer clone company?

  • avatar
    jmo2

    Interesting that the verdict is unanimous that folks would buy a Vietnamese car before a Chinese car. I would as well.

    As I’ve mentioned before of all the counties in the world the one with the highest opinion of the US? Vietnam. They’ve even spent a fortune on English education such that well over half of Vietnamese citizens speak English.

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend, as they say. It will be kinda funny when China starts getting upset that the US and Vietnam are conduction joint military exercises.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I dunno; Vietnam is where most companies go when Chinese labor is too expensive, and 10-15 years ago it was the main source for gray-market “Japanese” tractors slapped together from junkyard piles. It’s not my first choice for electronics-intensive heavy machinery.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Vietnam is hardly the ideal trade partner—they are still learning manufacturing and the government is not a great actor—but they are not the major strategic threat to our interests in the world and they are not trying to construct a global panopticon using our technology.

  • avatar

    I’ve realized what these look like at the front! The old Protons from the 80s.

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    Interesting.

    But those ignorant oversized consoles eating up space seem to be a world wide epidemic.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    This is pretty darned impressive. Vietnam, the country that was ‘bombed back to the stone age” by the world’s biggest military, is now producing electric cars.

    • 0 avatar
      zerofoo

      It does show the barriers to entry for electric cars is low. When you don’t have to develop a ICE engine or a complicated transmission, it becomes far easier to build one of these things.

      At their core, electric cars aren’t really much more complicated than white goods.

      The issue is scale – can these companies shift enough units to amortize their tooling costs in a reasonable way?

      West hall was filled with EV manufacturers this year. I suspect most will not survive. Making the car is only half the battle – you need to sell and service them and the big boys already have the infrastructure to do so.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I would wait till VinFast has established a network of sales and service and has gotten a reputation before I would buy one of their vehicles.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    “…this is not ‘Nam… There are rules.”

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