VinFast Vietnam hands over the first electric SUV, first delivery in the US According to Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of VinFast, a fledgling Vietnamese electric vehicle (EV) maker, is pictured at a sales position at a shopping mall in Santa Monica, California, U.S., May 23, 2022 REUTERS / David Swanson

HAIPHONG, Vietnam (Reuters) – Vietnamese automaker VinFast on Saturday began delivering the first batch of 100 electric sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to domestic customers, with deliveries in the United States to starting as early as December.

VinFast, which started operations in 2019, is preparing to expand in the US market, where it hopes to compete with legacy automakers and startups with two electric SUVs, the VF8 and VF9, including battery rental to reduce purchase price.

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

VinFast, part of Vingroup, will start shipping cars abroad in November and customers will have their cars delivered in December, Ms. Thuy said.

The company has registered nearly 65,000 pre-orders globally and expects to sell 750,000 EVs annually by 2026, starting with the VF8 and VF9 all-electric SUVs.

In March, VinFast said it would build a manufacturing plant in North Carolina with an initial planned capacity of 150,000 EVs a year. It tapped banks in July to raise at least $4 billion in project funding.

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

“I thought I’d have to wait until November to get my car delivered, but to my surprise the waiting time was shortened,” said Chung, who ordered his EV in January, just two months after the prototype. This vehicle is introduced.

He added: “Battery rental is an advantage for customers. “Why should we buy batteries?”

The VF8 and VF9 vehicles will start at $42,200 and $57,500 respectively for US customers, excluding battery rental costs. From September, the company will also offer customers options that include batteries.

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