Vietnamese carmaker VinFast marks official presence in Europe

Phil Curry | 07 Oct 2021

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Phil Curry

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Phil Curry, Autovista24 Editor, is a seasoned automotive journalist, always keen to seek out and explain the latest industry developments

More Asian carmakers are eying up the European automotive market, with a number of Chinese brands vying to get a slice of the cake. Battery-electric vehicle (BEV) manufacturer Nio is aiming to enter the German market by the end of 2022, while Great Wall Motors will roll out its Wey and Ora brands early next year.

But it is not only carmakers from China that are darting into Europe. VinFast – part of Vingroup and dubbed Vietnam’s answer to Tesla – will debut in France, Germany and the Netherlands next year. The manufacturer has now joined the German Association of International Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (VDIK) as it prepares for its European market entry.

‘It is very important for VinFast to be a member of VDIK,’ said Bich Tran, CEO of VinFast in Europe. ‘Germany is one of the most important passenger car markets in the world, where electric mobility is also growing rapidly. We are preparing intensively for the market entry and would like to use the expertise of the VDIK for this purpose as well.’

The VDIK has been around for nearly 70 years and represents the interests of both national and international car manufacturers. Together these carmakers sell more than 1.2 million passenger cars per year, giving them a market share of around 40% in Germany. VinFast is now positioning itself to carve out its own share.  

Midsize and large EVs

It will launch a new series of electrically-chargeable vehicles (EVs) in the midsize and SUV range. For its European customers, VinFast will manufacture its EVs in Vietnam and plans to expand to other markets in the region. More details about the product lineup will be announced in the first half of 2022, but the company said it would roll out three EV models with ‘trendy and classy’ designs.

The manufacturer could catch the eye of European customers with its ‘breakthrough’ battery rental policy, which it says comes with low monthly subscription costs. The company also offers a global warranty policy that could appeal to consumers in Europe.

‘VinFast’s EVs, with premium and modern design, the most advanced technologies and safety standards that meet the highest requirements, will certainly bring an outstanding driving experience to customers,’ said Michael Lohscheller, VinFast’s global CEO and former head of the Opel and Vauxhall brand.

‘I believe that the serious and well-planned investment strategy, proven manufacturing capabilities and reputable partnership network will allow the VinFast brand to grow tremendously and become well received by consumers from Vietnam to Europe.’

Last week, the EV maker also announced a partnership with European automobile-rating organisation Autobest. The cooperation will help VinFast promote its presence in the region and underlines the company’s expansion strategy in Europe, which it regards as a key market in its global plans.

VinFast has made a name for itself in the Asian automotive industry and will be the first Vietnamese carmaker to enter the global market. The manufacturer recently opened its first offices in the US and Canada. Founded in 2017, VinFast runs one of the largest factory complexes in Southeast Asia. It counts Faurecia, Bosch, Siemens, ABB and Thyssenkrupp among its partners.

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