Vietnam carmaker Vinfast eyes start of U.S. deliveries in late 2022, CEO says

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October 14 (Businesshala) – Vietnamese automaker Winfast will begin taking pre-orders for its VF E35 and E36 electric SUVs in the US market in the first half of 2022 and start delivering them by the end of the year, said global chief executive Michael Lochshaler. he said.

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“It is still too early to make any sales predictions, but WinFast will unveil our two latest EV models, the VF E35 and VF E36, at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show this November, thus making our mark for the US market. mark the official introduction,” he said in an email to Businesshala.

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The company expects to start delivering its first EVs in Vietnam in December, said Loehsler, a former Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and Opel executive, who was named to his position at Winfast in July.

Vinfast, the automobile arm of Vietnam’s largest conglomerate, Winggroup (VIC.HM), has an office in California and expects to open 60 US showrooms next year, he said.

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Winfast has grand ambitions to begin EV sales in the US and European markets next year, taking on Tesla (TSLA.O) and other automakers. Financing that plan is Winggroup, which was founded as an instant noodle business in post-Soviet Ukraine and now has interests spanning real estate, resorts, schools, hospitals and smartphones.

Founded in 2017, Winfast aims to compete on vehicle size and price. The carmaker’s vehicles will also come with a battery leasing scheme, meaning the cost of the battery, one of the most expensive components of an EV, will not be included in the final price.

Winfast plans to do most of its US sales online, with an assembly plant in Vietnam. Loehshaler said the company would “look into the possibility of a manufacturing facility in the US”.

The company is targeting global EV sales of 15,000 vehicles next year, down from its earlier target of 56,000 due to global semiconductor chip shortages.

To fund its development, Winfast has stated that it is eyeing a public listing in the United States.

“Winfast has plans to IPO in the US, but the specific timing will depend on market and other conditions,” Loehshaler said. “We will reveal more information at an appropriate time in the future.”

Reporting by Ben Kellman in Detroit; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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