Vietnamese EV maker sets sights on U.S. market

STORY: With simulated smoke and bright, flashing lights, Vietnamese carmaker VinFast presented its all-electric sport utility vehicles on Saturday.

The crowd gathered for the event applauded the first batch of the electric SUVs made for local customers.

But VinFast is setting its sights on the international market, with U.S. deliveries of the EVs due to begin as soon as December.

(VinFast Chief Executive Le Thi Thu Thuy, saying:)

"These first vehicles will be delivered to our Vietnamese customers. After that, the next batch of 5,000 vehicles will be produced for the U.S. and North American market. We will start producing that batch next week. Then we will start producing for the EU market."

VinFast, which began operations in 2019, is hoping its VF8 and VF9 models can compete with legacy automakers and startups in the U.S.

One customer picking up the keys to a VF8 says his vehicle was ready faster than anticipated.

"The speed of delivery surprised me. My estimate was that I would be among the first orders that were being fulfilled sometime in November. When VinFast informed me that I can have my car in September, I was quite surprised by their development and production speed. This is good news for both EV enthusiasts and VinFast car owners."

The company has registered 65,000 reservations globally and says it expects to sell 750,000 EVs per year by 2026.

And in March, VinFast announced plans to build a production facility in North Carolina with an initial projected capacity of 150,000 EVs a year.

For U.S. customers, the VF8 will start at just over $42,000 and the VF9 will begin at $57,500, excluding the cost to lease the electric battery. The company said options that include batteries will also be available.