January 3, 2024 — After opening Leith VinFast in Cary, NC the last week of December, Vietnamese automaker VinFast Auto announced deals with another four dealerships this week to sell its electric vehicles in the U.S.
The first group of VinFast dealers are:
- Leith VinFast in Cary, NC
- Smith Haven VinFast in St. James, NY
- Principle VinFast Grapevine in Grapevine, TX
- Hiley VinFast of Fort Worth in Fort Worth, TX
- VinFast Wichita in Wichita, KS.
VinFast began selling its VF 8 electric SUV last March via 13 company-owned stores in California. But in October, the company signaled it would pivot to a hybrid model including partnering with approximately 125 dealerships over the next couple of years. It could announce another 20 or so dealerships in the next few months.
The automaker is attempting to plant its flag in the U.S. market. It broke ground on a $4 billion plant last year outside of Raleigh and announced that U.S. Bank will be its consumer lending partner. VinFast also plans to add the VF 6, VF 7, and VF 9 models as they become available — possibly later this year.
Although the initial VF 8 is not eligible for the $7,500 tax credit as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, the company is offering an aggressive warranty for all customers who purchase or lease a VinFast electric vehicle are eligible for VinFast’s aftersales policies, including a 10-year/125,000-mile warranty for the vehicle and 10-year unlimited mileage for the battery under non-commercial use.
VinFast’s entry into the U.S. has been rough. Founded in 2017, it is part of Vietnam’s largest conglomerate, Vingroup which is controlled by Pham Nhat Vuong, one of the country’s wealthiest business leaders.
It went public on August 15 via a SPAC deal with Black Spade. The IPO valued VinFast at an unrealistic $23 billion but then the silliness took over. Within a couple of days, the company was valued at more than $85 billion – more than General Motors, Ford, or BMW.
Within 10 days, VinFast’s valuation had jumped to more than $230 billion. Since then, the share price plunged to under $8 a share, and has held steady between $6 and $7 with a market cap of approximately $16.4 billion.
The wild rollercoaster ride is the result of speculators getting in and getting out early – and the fact owner Pham Nhat Vuong controls nearly 99% of the stock. However, he committed last year to providing another $2.5 billion to the company via loans to assist with production. VinGroup also donated a battery company to VinFast recently.
Sales have been slow, with various outlets reporting approximately U.S. 215 registrations through October. WardsAuto reported last week the company sold 13,000 vehicles globally, but half of those sales may have been to a related company owned by its founder.