Since revealing an SUV and a car at the Paris Auto Show event in 2018, VinFast, the automotive branch of Vietnam’s largest listed corporation (Vingroup), hasn’t spoken much. Both featured Pininfarina revamps of F10-generation BMW 5 Series as well as F15 BMW X5 underpinnings. The company also revealed ambitions to expand into North America with one or two VinFast electric cars.
Craig Westbrook, VinFast’s chief service officer, elaborated on those intentions at the latest Move America mobility event in Austin, Texas.
In the months since that Paris launch, the business has taken over GM’s Hanoi assembly factory to produce the Fadil city vehicle, a licensed design built on our Chevy Spark’s Opel Karl version. The company has also developed a 1.3-square-mile factory in Cát Hi, northern Vietnam, to manufacture automobiles, motorcycles, and parts, with a capacity of 250,000 vehicles and 500,000 e-scooters annually and a 90 percent automated manufacturing line.
The Lux A2.0 and Lux SA2.0 are BMW-based cars and SUVs, respectively, with a luxury model of the latter dubbed as the President, which is propelled by a 6.2-litre GM-sourced V-8. In Australia, VinFast bought GM’s Lang Lang testing ground and launched a line of electric scooters, motorcycles, SUVs, as well as a bus.
California Will Get VinFast EVs
The VF e35, VF e34, and the VF e36, which are sized for the D, C, and E classes, are now available in the company’s electric SUV list. The latter two are expected to lead the company’s North American expansion, beginning in e-friendly California in the mid-2022. VF e35 is about the same size as the Tesla Model Y, and it has a choice of one or two motors, each of which delivers 201 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The estimated driving range is 250 miles.
The larger 7-seater is supposed to be similar in magnitude to a Hyundai Palisade, Chevy Traverse, or Kia Telluride (albeit the wheelbases of the VinFast SUVs are longer in both cases). Two motors (using the same motors) are standard, as well as a 106-kWh battery package is supposed to deliver 341 miles of the WLTP range (possibly 280-300 miles by EPA criteria). Tesla’s screen-centric minimalism has had a big influence on the interior design aesthetic.
Leasing of Batteries
VinFast’s declared goal is to reduce (actual or perceived) barriers to Electric Vehicle ownership, and the company feels that customer concerns about extended battery life are a key stumbling block. As a result, VinFast will provide a battery leasing program that will cut the car purchase price while also reducing the possibility of a costly replacement battery (VinFast has promised to replace any battery pack which falls under 70% of the original storage capacity). The particular terms and conditions are still being worked out.