03 May 2021
Vietnam's largest conglomerate automobile arm Vingroup is set to challenge Tesla. The company is looking to entice the American public with its range of electric SUVs, VinFast line of cars and a battery leasing model. Tesla and General Motors Co are currently the preferred EV manufacturers.
During an interview with Reuters, CEO Nguyen Thi Van Anh said, “We are going to North America - U.S., Canada - and Europe at the same time. In Europe, we're going to Germany, France and the Netherlands.” The launch is set to take place in 2022.
VinFast is Vietnam’s number five car brand and is attempting to attract car buyers away from Elon Musk's Tesla. Reuters sources believe that the company is targeting a U.S. listing and a valuation of as much as $60 billion.
Vingroup originally started out as an instant noodle business in post-Soviet Ukraine but grew fast after investments in real estate, resorts, schools, hospitals and smartphones.
In order to head VinFast's U.S. operations, Van Anh will be relocating next month from Hanoi to Los Angeles and he affirmed, “I'm going to give you a better product. I'm giving you an SUV. I'm giving you a more spacious car.”
Bill Russo, head of Shanghai-based consultancy Automobility Ltd and a former Chrysler executive noted the competition that Vingroup faces and acknowledged the difficult task to win the public over. "Their biggest challenge is convincing consumers that they have a solid product and a compelling value proposition. The product itself looks to have the right appearance and features, but this will only get you in the game. Winning requires a technology or business model edge over the competition.”