It’s no secret that the automotive world is going electric, but you may not know that the transition has opened the door for new and international automakers to enter the U.S. market. Rivian, Lucid, and others have jumped into the fray with new electric trucks, SUVs, and cars. Now, there’s a new player in town, and it just announced its first shipment of vehicles into the United States.
Vinfast is a Vietnamese company that laid out plans for a controversial battery leasing system with its original announcement. The automaker celebrated its first deliveries yesterday with a ceremony as they loaded vehicles onto the ship. The company says its first 999 VF 8 electric SUVs will reach our shores in about 20 days after they leave port in Vietnam.
Vinfast says it has collected 65,000 orders worldwide for the VF 8 and VF 9 EVs. More shipments of the VF 8 are scheduled soon, and the automaker says it will begin deliveries of the VF 9 in early 2023. Though it’s getting its foot in the door with two new SUVs, Vinfast has three other EVs in the works. The company will open orders for the VF 5, VF 6, and VF 7 shortly.
The new VF 8 midsize SUV starts at $42,200 with a monthly battery subscription or $57,000 without. Buyers choosing the monthly fee will pay $169 monthly for the VF 8 battery and $219 monthly for the VF 9. The VF 8 offers up to 292 miles of range using the WLTP standard and 402 horsepower. The FV 9 is a full-size SUV that starts at $57,500 with a battery subscription and $76,000 without. It also offers 402 horsepower, but its batteries provide 369 miles of range. Both vehicles come with a ten-year warranty.
Though it’s currently shipping vehicles from Vietnam, Vinfast plans to invest up to $2 billion to build a factory in North Carolina. The facility will sit on almost 2,000 acres and be comprised of three main areas: EV and bus production/assembly, battery production, and a supplier facility. The automaker plans to finish in 2024, and the plant’s construction is already underway. Vinfast will build the VF 9 at the facility VF 8 and says it will hire thousands to work on the effort.