The fast-growing flagship Vietnamese car manufacturer says it will introduce its electric vehicles in five new markets in early 2022, another sign of the expanding range of available EV options for would-be buyers
There is a new line of electric vehicles coming to market in Canada with the arrival of VinFast Auto Canada — a subsidiary of Vietnamese conglomerate, Vingroup, which is also the owner of the country’s first auto company, VinFast.
VinFast started off in internal combustion engines (ICE), but is pivoting to electric vehicles with its expansion into the international market. With 30,000 made-in-Vietnam, ICE vehicles sold last year, VinFast is setting up operations in the United States, France, Germany and the Netherlands next year, while the Canadian arm of the company will be located in Burnaby, B.C.
VinFast identified the five countries as key jurisdictions to target and grow its sales outside of Vietnam, in part due to their robust EV adoption policies.
On VinFast Canada’s social media accounts, the company said, “VinFast Auto Canada Inc. an OEM distribution company with a Direct-to-Consumer business model, has an ambitious growth strategy planning rapid retail and aftersales facility expansion in Canada over the next 12 months.”
In January 2021 VinFast introduced its first electric offering — the VF e34 — which will be followed in March 2022 by the VF e35 and VF e36. All of the models are SUVs.
The EVs will be available for preorder, with delivery expected to be completed later on next year. VinFast also expects to be able to showcase the new vehicles in global showrooms across their targeted markets.
VinFast received 25,000 domestic preorders for the e34, which retails for about US$29,000. The company indicates its vehicles will have a battery leasing scheme, which should offer some initial price relief. No other pricing details or other vehicle specifications are yet available.
The company is also working on a fleet of vehicles offering varying levels of autonomous driving capabilities. VinFast says the company received permission to test earlier this year in the state of California.
VinFast plans to have two of its three models offering levels of autonomous driving available for sale in both North America and Europe some time in 2022. The company’s autonomous vehicle research is conducted out of the VinFast R&D Institute offices in San Francisco, Australia and Vietnam.
VinFast is a member of Vingroup, one of the largest private corporate entities in Vietnam. In addition to four-wheeled passenger vehicles, VinFast also manufactures electric motorbikes and buses, though these are not available outside of Vietnam. The company is also active in schools, housing, hospitals and real estate.
The company first launched car manufacturing operations in 2017 when it broke ground on its manufacturing complex near Hai Phong, Vietnam. The first VinFast car was sold in 2019. By 2020, VinFast was the bestseller in all three of its segments in Vietnam, including e-scooters.
While the company is still in the early days of organizing the launch of its EVs outside of Vietnam, VinFast looks to be able to provide yet another EV option for Canadians.
Further details on VinFast’s Canadian activities and sales plans have yet to be released, but a company spokesperson said that there will be plenty of information to share in the coming weeks.