Vingroup, a multibusiness group plans to produce 500,000 vehicles in a 2- and three wheeler dominated country by 2025. It has registered VinFast as the trading name and will rely on foreign expertise to fast track the project. A new assembly plant is being built in the strategically located northern port city of Haiphong.
In 2017, a record 300,000 new cars were sold in Vietnam.
With this development, VinFast will become Vietnam’s second large automaker after Truong Hai Automobile, also known as Thaco, which is a contract manufacturer for South Korea’s Hyundai Motor and some other brands.
The project was announced on the anniversary of Ho Chi Minh declaring Vietnam independent of France in 1945, hours after Japan formally surrendered to the allies.
The first two cars from Vinfast have been confirmed as a mid-size sedan and SUV. In a smart move, Vinfast has chosen to build its cars using previous-generation BMW 5-Series and X5 platforms. Bodystyling has been done by Italian design firms Italdesign and Pininfarina who have worked closely with Vinfast design boss David Lyon.
To get a domestic feel, Vinfast involved the local populace to determine the styling direction at the very start of the design process. More than 62,000 people voted when presented with 20 design sketches. Starting with Italdesign’s winning concepts, the cars’ designs have since been developed and completed by Pininfarina. Design sketches for the SUV and sedan will be unveiled at the Paris car show in October. Teaser sketches show the brand’s “V” logo prominently on their grilles.
Vinfast is yet to provide final specifications for its sedan and SUV but the company has acquired the license to manufacture a BMW 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-4 engines.