Automotive: Vinfast, the Society of Records

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At the car manufacturer’s factory in Vinfast. Photo: VNA/CVN

64 years ago, on December 21, 1958, the Chiên Thang factory in Hanoi produced the first four-seater car built by Vietnamese, replicating a French frigate. However, due to the war, the car “Chiên Thang”, “Victoire” in French, was not mass produced.

In the 1970s, the car “La Dalat” appeared on the market, assembled by Vietnamese according to Citroën standards. Dalat had four models, sales of which were estimated at 1,000 units per year between 1970 and 1975. In 1975, Citroën closed its factory in Vietnam.

In 1991, Mekong Auto was established. It was a joint venture, the fruit of cooperation between three countries: the Republic of Korea (19% of the shares), Vietnam (30% of the shares) and Japan (51% of the shares). From 1992, the company began assembling Mekong-branded cars at the Cuu Long factory in Ho Chi Minh City, with spare parts mainly supplied by the South Korean group Ssangyong. However, since 1997, Mekong has stopped production due to a lack of accessories.

In 2004, two manufacturers, Truong Hai Automobile and Xuân Kiên Automobile (Vinaxuki), obtained licenses to manufacture and assemble cars in Vietnam. But in 2012, Vinaxuki had to close its factory. As for Truong Hai Automobile, it continues to assemble cars for major brands such as Mazda, Kia and Peugeot. This company has built one of the largest and most modern car manufacturing complexes in Vietnam, in the Chu Lai Industrial Park in the central province of Quang Nam.

On September 9, 2017, Vingroup laid the foundation stone for its electric car and motorcycle factory in Cat Hai District in northern Hai Phong city. In September 2017, the group revealed the first images of its two luxury cars. The “V” shaped logo is the pride of the Vietnamese people.

On June 14, 2019, VinFast inaugurated and commissioned its first factory, three months ahead of schedule. It will therefore have taken this company only 21 months since the first stone was laid to operate its plant, a real record for the global automotive industry.

Very fast expansion

There have been doubts about Vinfast’s real ambitions, and concerns about the risks and challenges the company will face when they enter an industry over 100 years old, which is characterized by extremely tough competition. It is an industry that Vietnam has been trying to build for many years without success. Today, the establishment of the Vinfast Automobilfabrikken has removed that doubt.”declared the Prime Minister at the time, the current President of the Republic Nguyên Xuân Phuc during the inauguration ceremony of the factory.

Nguyên Xuân Phuc then announced that Vietnam would be a promising market. With almost 100 million inhabitants, our country is actually seeing its middle class develop rapidly. But the number of vehicle owners is still very low, 21 cars per 1,000 people, compared to 790 cars per 1,000 people in the US or 204 cars per 1,000 people in Thailand.

We see Vietnam not only as an important and promising market, but also as a driving force for the sustainable development and acceleration of Vinfast. Why can’t we work together to make a car whose ideas and technologies have been shared and generalized for over 100 years? Vinfast is full of talented engineers, and if the company is supported by the nearly 100 million Vietnamese, its expansion will be very fast. Added to this are the technological advances in Industry 4.0, which should enable it to move forward very quickly. Vinfast will succeed if its interests are closely linked with the interests of the Vietnamese and the country.”he suggested.

VinFast delivered its first batch of cars at the end of July 2019. At the end of October 2019, in Melaka, Malaysia, the Vietnamese brand achieved the highest level of safety certification from the Southeast Asia New Car Assessment Program (ASEAN NCAP).

A model of Vinfast exhibited in the USA. Photo: VNA/CVN

On March 24, 2021, VinFast released its first VF e34 smart electric car model for sale. And after only 12 hours of opening for sales, the young manufacturer received 3,692 orders, a new record in the Vietnamese car market. The birth of the VF e34 marked a new milestone for the Vietnamese automotive industry and made Vietnam one of the few countries in the world that has mastered the technology to produce electric vehicles.

International conquest

On July 12, 2021, VinFast officially ordered its branches in the USA, Canada, France, Germany and the Netherlands with a view to international conquest. At the end of March 2022, VinFast and the US state administration of North Carolina signed a memorandum of understanding on the construction of VinFast’s first electric car and battery factory in the North American market.

The US energy and commerce secretaries both welcomed Vinfast’s plan, saying it was in line with the Joe Biden administration’s efforts to develop a green economy.

With its colossal investments, Vinfast is the latest example of companies supporting President Biden’s efforts to create a clean energy economy. She will certainly not be the last to participate in this effort. Once again, I want to thank Vinfast for choosing to invest in the United States, for hiring American workers and for making us more energy independent.”said US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

So far, the company has produced five car models: Vinfast Fadil, Vinfast VF e34 (electric car), Vinfast Lux SA2.0, Vinfast Lux A2.0 and Vinfast President. Vinfast is now the most popular car brand in Vietnam.

VNA/CVN

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