Three-year-old Vietnamese company is building on its domestic market success with an ambitious global expansion plan.
Vietnam’s only car manufacturer, VinFast, is showing off its new E35 and E36 SUVs in Los Angeles, home to its new global headquarters, as it pushes forward with a global expansion plan.
The two electric SUV models have been designed by Pininfarina, and are said to showcase VinFast’s vision for “the future of mobility”.
As reported by us earlier this year, the nascent Vietnamese car company plans to begin exporting cars to the US, Canada, mainland Europe and, in the future, Australia, having nearly doubled its sales from 2019 to 2020 with just three cars on its books.
The five-seater E35 – previously called the VF32 – is the smaller of the pair, positioned as a Tesla Model Y rival with a claimed range of 402km. It is due to begin deliveries in Vietnam in February 2022 before going on global sale in summer.
Power is reportedly sent from a 90kWh battery to either a single electric motor with 147kW or a twin-motor set-up producing 293kW, though VinFast has yet to confirm final specifications.
The larger E36 – at 5100mm long – adds a third row of seats, ditches the single-motor option and ups battery capacity to 106kWh for a range of more than 480km. It shares the smaller car’s 15.4-inch central touchscreen, and is expected to arrive on sale at around the same time.
Both are claimed to be capable of Level 3 autonomous driving functionality.
Details of which specific markets will receive the two cars remain unconfirmed, but it has ambitious production targets, having invested around $4.65 billion in a new manufacturing centre in Vietnam which will have an eventual capacity of 500,000 units per year.
Meanwhile, it has a research institute in Germany and plans for its new LA headquarters to eventually employ some 400 people, but recently announced it was selling Lang Lang, the ex-Holden proving ground in Australia which it acquired not long ago for almost $34 million.