What to know about VinFast, the Vietnamese electric car company

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The state revealed on Tuesday that Vietnamese automaker VinFast would build an electric vehicle manufacturing plant in the Triangle.

The automaker will invest at least $4 billion to build a plant at Moncure’s Triangle Innovation Point, a 2,150-acre “megasite” just north of Sanford. The new facility will employ up to 7,500 people, The News & Observer reported.

But who is VinFast? Here’s what we know.

When was VinFast created?

VinFast is a subsidiary of the VinGroup conglomerate, which was established by developer and entrepreneur Pham Nhat Vuong in Ukraine in 1993. Back then it was called Technocom Corporation.

The real estate and technology conglomerate was launched in Vietnam in 2000 and announced its foray into automotive manufacturing in 2017.

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Vietnamese automaker VinFast plans to build its US auto manufacturing plant in the greater Triangle region. Courtesy of VinFast

VinFast has established its first “all-digital automotive manufacturing complex” on the sparsely populated island of Cat Hai in northern Vietnam.

The company announced in November that its US headquarters would be in Los Angeles and said last month it was looking for a place to build batteries in the United States.

Forbes values ​​VinGroup’s market capitalization at $21 billion and estimates Vuong’s net worth at over $6 billion.

VinFast sells VF 9 and VF 8 SUVs in the United States

The automaker’s cars and scooters are bestsellers in Vietnam, but it only sells larger SUVs in the global market.

Two all-electric SUVs are available for pre-sale in the United States, with the company estimating that deliveries will begin later this year. Self-driving features will be available in both.

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VinFast produces two all-electric sport utility vehicles for the US market, the VF 8 and VF 9. Photo provided

The VF 8 is a mid-size SUV that seats five and has a range of 316 miles. The VF 9 is a full-size SUV with a range of 422 miles. It can accommodate six or seven people.

Both feature 15-inch touchscreens in the center of the dash. The company claims that the VF 8 battery takes 24 minutes to charge from 10 to 70 percent. VF 9 lasts 26 minutes.

The vehicles were designed by Italian firm Pininfarina, which counts Ferrari, Maserati, Hyundai and Fiat among its customers.

How much do VinFast cars cost in the United States?

VinFast started accepting pre-orders for VF 8 and VF 9 this year.

The VF 8 starts at $41,000 and the VF 9 at $56,000.

Reservations cost $200 and are delivered as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, which use blockchain technology to provide proof of ownership. Those who bite by April 5 will receive several thousand dollars off their purchase, along with other perks.

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A look inside a VinFast automotive manufacturing plant. Photo provided

Who is the CEO of VinFast?

The chairman and founder of VinGroup is Pham Nhat Vuong.

Vuong went to college in Russia and made his first millions after starting an instant noodle business in Ukraine, according to a 2013 Forbes profile that identified him as Vietnam’s first billionaire.

Van Anh Nguyen is the CEO of VinFast USA, while VinFast Global is led by Madame Le Thi Thu Thuy.

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VinFast opened its first all-digital automotive manufacturing complex in 2017 on Cat Hai Island in Vietnam. Photo provided

Is VinFast considering an IPO?

VinGroup told Reuters in December that it expects an initial public offering for VinFast in late 2022.

The IPO was expected to raise $3 billion, according to the report.

Does VinFast only manufacture electric vehicles?

VinFast said its entire line of vehicles will be fully electric by the end of the year.

What incentives has VinFast obtained in the United States?

If it meets North Carolina hiring goals, VinFast will receive a state incentive package worth $854 million over 32 years. Chatham County will contribute an additional $400 million.

The state of California awarded VinFast $20.5 in incentives at the Los Angeles headquarters last fall, according to public records. The agreement obliges the company to invest more than $200 million and create 1,066 jobs by 2025.

This story was originally published March 29, 2022 1:37 p.m.

Mary Helen Moore covers real estate and business for The News & Observer. She grew up in eastern North Carolina and attended UNC-Chapel Hill before spending several years working at newspapers in Florida. Outside of work, you might find her riding her bike, reading, or tending to plants.

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