Vinfast may not be an EV name you recognize yet, but there should be an emphasis on the “fast” part of its moniker. At a private event following the first day of the LA Auto Show, Vinfast’s Global CEO Michael Lohscheller spoke to a crowded room about the Vietnamese automotive startup’s progress in just four years, built off one of its core values – speed. In addition to debuting as a global brand with two upcoming electric SUVs, Vinfast announced Los Angeles as its US headquarters and shared plans to begin manufacturing on American soil in 2024.
VinFast is the automotive manufacturing subsidiary of VinGroup, a Vietnamese conglomerate that develops everything from real estate to technology and even healthcare. The VinFast subsidiary was founded in 2017 as its parent company looked to enter automotive manufacturing.
In terms of electrification, VinFast is working to deliver its flagship EV, the VF e34, later this year in Vietnam. When that happens, it will be the first-ever EV sold in the entire Vietnamese market.
Last month, we reported that Vinfast was ambitiously entering markets overseas, beginning with the US, Canada, and Europe all at once. With its presence at this year’s LA Auto Show, we now know just how ambitious this young automaker is.
Vinfast debuts as a global brand for new EVs
During the first day of Automobility LA, Vinfast simultaneously debuted two new EVs to be sold in the markets mentioned above. Debuting the VF e35 and e36 at once is a great representation of how Vinfast likes to function… fast.
VinFast Global CEO Michael Lohscheller spoke to a large crowd gathered around the massive Vinfast booth at the LA Convention Center:
We are deeply motivated to inspire our customers to be bold and join the revolution [of] EVs to accelerate solutions that will address this crisis. VinFast believes that the ‘Future of Mobility’ will be one of smart electric cars that are highly personalized and integrated with technologies that benefit life and our environment. These vehicles will do so while meeting safety standards and delivering superior and comfortable driving experiences.
The two new Vinfast EVs integrate ADAS with driver monitoring, fully-automated parking, and summoning, plus smart infotainment features like voice and virtual assistant. Unfortunately, Vinfast hasn’t shared any more detailed specs yet, such as range and pricing, but we will try to get those for you.
More details are sure to come to light when Vinfast begins EV pre-orders in the first half of 2022, ahead of production late next year.
US headquarters and manufacturing
Vinfast’s launch as a new EV brand in multiple markets comes off the heels of another announcement pertaining to its fresh presence on US soil. Yesterday, the company shared that Playa Vista, a westside neighborhood of Los Angeles, will be its official US headquarters.
The new headquarters is over 15,000 square feet and has room to expand. VinFast said it plans to hire more than 400 employees at its headquarters and regional office in LA in the coming years.
In addition to its US headquarters, VinFast is also investing in regional offices, a call center, and a network of retail storefronts to help US consumers familiarize themselves with the brand in an ever-growing EV segment.
Lastly, during a private reception following the Auto Show, Lohscheller jokingly told the crowd that Vinfast only had one more announcement, and then it was done for the evening. He went on the reveal that Vinfast is planning a US EV manufacturing facility for 2024.
Sources at the company told us during the event that the location of this facility was still being determined, and could not comment on whether the 2024 timeline meant Vinfast would be breaking ground, or beginning production operations.
At the speed this automaker is moving, it’s not unreasonable to think they’re aiming to be manufacturing on US soil three years from now. Stay tuned as more Vinfast progress and details come to light.
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