Vietnamese automaker bringing electric SUVs to LA Auto Show debut – Daily News

on Oct15
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VinFast, a Vietnamese automaker, will unveil two electric SUVs at next month’s LA Auto Show as the company makes its initial push into North America’s fast-growing EV market.

The VF e35 and VF e36 are equipped with a variety of smart features, including lane assist, collision warning, driver monitoring, fully automated parking, voice assist and e-commerce services.

Pre-orders for the vehicles will begin in the first half of 2022 with deliveries expected by year’s end, according to Le Thi Thu Thuy, chairwoman of Vingroup, the automaker’s parent company.

Read more: Where did Rivian’s electric truck come from? It’s a long, messy road

“We have made vigorous investments and conducted extensive market research to create premium EVs…,” she said in a statement. “This is just the beginning,”

VinFast has a research and development office in San Francisco with 50 employees and the company expects to open 35 U.S. California showrooms and service centers this year, according to Just Auto, an online news and research portal for the auto industry.

The company plans to establish an auto factory in the U.S. as well. VinFast sold about 30,000 vehicles last year, and earlier this year the company forecasts sales of more than 45,000 units in 2021.

Founded by billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong, Vinfast began delivering gasoline autos to Vietnamese consumers with BMW-licensed engines in 2019. Vuong, who is also chairman of Vingroup, said late that year he would back the company’s U.S. ambitions with $2 billion of his own fortune, according to Bloomberg.

Workers connect the drive train and the body frame inside a Vinfast factory in Haiphong, Vietnam.

Gaining traction

The company’s smart EVs are in tune with where the industry is headed.

In a recent executive order, President Joe Biden set a goal for half of all new auto sales to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030. California is mandating all new vehicle sales be zero-emission by 2035.

Startup and legacy automakers are eager to make an impact in the EV market, and the LA Auto Show — which runs Nov. 19-28 at Los Angeles Convention Center — is a venue to show off their progress.

With 1 million square feet of indoor and outdoor space, the event will include the latest electric, hydrogen and gas-powered vehicles, as well as aftermarket brands and personal mobility scooters.

“With interest in EVs being so high among our show’s attendees, we wanted to make sure this year’s show offered automakers additional touchpoints with local consumers,” said Lisa Kaz, owner and CEO of the LA Auto Show.

One of those touchpoints will be an indoor electric vehicle test track. Electrify America will be the official charging provider for the 45,000-square-foot track area, which will allow visitors to ask questions, interact with the company and choose from a diverse selection of EV models to test drive.

“We look forward to supporting VinFast’s presence at this year’s show and will keep a close eye on their brand development,” Kaz said.

Established in 2017, VinFast owns an automotive manufacturing complex in Hai Phong, Vietnam, where operations are 90% automated. The facilities are capable of producing up to 250,000 cars and up to 500,000 electric scooters a year.

Robotic arms work on the body frames of Vinfast Lux A2.0 sedans in the body shop area of the automaker’s factory in Haiphong, Vietnam, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. Vingroup JSC Chairman Vuong, the billionaire behind six-month-old Vietnamese auto startup VinFast, plans a feat even Toyota Motor Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co. couldn’t pull off during their early days: sell a car in the U.S.

A microchip shortage

Hitting production milestones likely won’t be achieved anytime soon, as automakers are currently grappling with a microchip shortage.

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the temporary closure of scores of factories, and the supplies needed for chip manufacturing were unavailable for months. The shortage has drastically slowed production of new vehicles.

California’s inventory of new vehicles is down 75%, according to Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of insights.

VinFast is offering 500 free tickets to the LA Auto show and a livestream of the company’s global premiere. Register to get those tickets at

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