VinFast, a Vietnamese automaker, started giving away its first 100 all-electric sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to local customers on Saturday. U.S. deliveries of the vehicle are expected to start as early as December.
VinFast, which launched operations in 2019, is preparing to grow in the U.S. market. With its two all-electric SUVs, the VF8 and VF9, it hopes to compete with established automakers and newcomers while also offering battery leasing to lower the purchase price.
“The first batch of 5,000 VF8 units will be for U.S. and North American markets. Mass production will start from next week,” VinFast’s global chief executive Le Thi Thu Thuy told Reuters on the sidelines of a delivery ceremony at its plant in Vietnam’s northern province of Haiphong.
According to Thuy, VinFast, a division of Vingroup JSC, will begin shipping automobiles abroad in November and customers can expect deliveries as early as December.
The company expects to sell 750,000 EVs annually by 2026, beginning with the VF8 and VF9 all-electric SUVs, and has already received nearly 65,000 reservations from around the world.
With an initial projected capacity of 150,000 EVs per year, VinFast announced in March that it would construct a production facility in North Carolina. In order to secure at least $4 billion in funding for the project, it approached banks in July.
At the event on Saturday, Nguyen Khac Chung was one of the first local customers to receive their cars.
“I thought I had to wait until November to get my car delivered but I was surprised that the waiting time was cut short,” said Chung, who ordered his EV in January, just two months after the model was introduced.
“Battery leasing is an advantage for customers,” he added. “Why should we buy battery?”
With the cost of leasing the electric battery excluded, the starting prices for the VF8 and VF9 vehicles in the United States are $42,200 and $57,500, respectively. The business will start providing customers with options that include batteries in September.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)