VinFast’s entry into the US market has faced a sluggish start. However, the electric vehicle (EV) company is now poised to experience rapid growth.
Founded in 2017, VinFast is a new EV maker based in Vietnam. The company briefly became the third-largest auto company in the world when its share price rose above $82 in late August.
After initially opting for a direct-sales approach, VinFast is now transitioning to a dealer-led model. Since announcing this strategic shift in August, the company has received 70 dealer applications. The company anticipates that there will be hundreds of VinFast car dealerships throughout the US by late 2024.
VinFast currently operates 13 showrooms in California, where it began US operations. However, CarScoops indicates that the company sold only 237 VF 8 vehicles in California during the first three quarters of 2023.
The VF 8 (pictured above) is the first vehicle that VinFast is selling in the US. The company will distribute the VF 9, VF 6, and VF 7 beginning in 2024.
VinFast anticipates that leveraging dealers will enable accelerated growth in the US. Dealers have knowledge of local market conditions that VinFast executives lack.
Of all of VinFast’s cars, the one that is getting the most positive reception is the compact VF 3. As of right now, the VF 3 is only being sold in Vietnam. However, this may change. Almost all of VinFast’s prospective US dealers have expressed a desire to sell the VF 3 locally.
The VF 3’s appeal lies in its affordability. The car’s US price would likely be around $20,000. With the $7,500 federal EV tax credit, the VF 3’s price would drop to as little as $12,500.
Even before the tax credit, the VF 3 would be approximately 60% cheaper than a typical US EV. The average US EV cost $50,683 in September 2023.
VinFast is also expanding its manufacturing presence in the US. The company is building a $4 billion EV factory near Raleigh, North Carolina. The factory is expected to begin production in 2024.
Image Source: VinFast US