VinFast plans to stop making gas-powered cars by end-2022

Khanh Minh Thursday | 01/06/2022 10:37

Customers drive their VinFast VF e34 electric SUV out of the garage at the automaker’s factory.Photographer: Maika Elan/Bloomberg

Automaker Vinfast, an arm of Vietnam’s largest private conglomerate Vingroup, has announced it will focus solely on producing EVs after December 2022.

Just two-and-a-half years after the first cars were introduced to the market, VinFast will stop making gas-powered autos. The new automaker ramps up global sales of electric SUVs with plans for EV factories in the U.S. and Germany.

The company will focus exclusively on electric vehicles because it presents VinFast a big opportunity in a nascent market, Le Thi Thu Thuy, vice chairwoman of Vingroup told Bloomberg.  

According to Vingroup’s vice chairwoman, the market of electric cars is still in the early stages of development and the level of competition is not too fierce, so there is still room for breakthroughs for new brands.

“VinFast is facing an international market with the potential of more than one billion gas-powered cars that will be replaced by electric cars in the near future,” Thuy said.  

VinFast has introduced five electric SUV models at the annual CES technology conference in Las Vegas ahead of its planned U.S. initial public offering in the second half of the year. It plans deliveries of EVs in California, Canada, France, Germany and the Netherlands at the end of 2022. 

VinFast, whose U.S. headquarters is in Los Angeles, has narrowed the location for its planned U.S. factory to three locations. Its first phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2024, she said.

The factory complex, which will have a capacity to produce 250,000 vehicles a year, will also include battery and electric bus plants, she said. The first phase will have an investment of $1 billion to $1.5 billion. 

The company is looking at five sites in Germany for an EV factory that would open after the U.S. complex is operational, she said. 

VinFast unveiled two electric SUVs -- the VF e35 and VF e36 -- at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. It will begin accepting global preorders for these two models at CES Jan. 6.

VinFast began delivering its first EVs to Vietnamese consumers on Christmas Day. Prices for VF e35 and VF e36 -- which will be renamed VF8 and VF9 -- range from $41,000 to $61,000.  

VinFast sold 32,676 gasoline automobiles in Vietnam last year through November, according to the company. It sold about 30,000 gas vehicles in 2020.

Source: Bloomberg

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