VinFast seems to think you will.
Despite indications demand for EVs in the US is softening, Vietnamese automaker VinFast is storming into this country with the intent of winning your business. Instead of just planning to sell directly to consumers like what Tesla and other EV brands do, VinFast CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy hinted her company might partner with dealer networks.
This disclosure, which is shocking many, was made during an interview with Reuters. While not giving away any substantial information, Thuy did say VinFast is “discussing (the move) with potential partners.” That could mean any number of things.
Many Americans might have reservations about VinFast. Not only is it an untested brand and it’s part of a slim niche with many competitors, it also hails from a communist country. Some people might not realize that, although we’re not entirely sure how what with the Vietnam War and such, but that alone could kill interest consumers have in the brand. After all, that’s arguably kept Chinese brands from penetrating the US market.
Speaking of which, the Chinese Communist Party has been embroiled in information harvesting scandals here in the US, something they do in their home country with unchecked authority. All footage and other metrics collected by Teslas and other cars in China is handed over to the only legal political party. And things aren’t too dissimilar in Vietnam. Will Americans trust a car company that hails from such a political environment?
Just last week, VinFast was listed on the NASDAQ with a valuation which exceeded Ford and GM. That signals for now investors have high confidence in the automaker, even if it turns out later consumers don’t.
There are plans to open a manufacturing facility here in North America, allowing the Vietnamese company to leverage tax credits in its quest for vehicle sales. And by partnering with American dealers, a friendlier domestic face could be attached to the brand.
Of course, there have been other well-financed, buzz-generating startups in the EV market which have since fizzled. In fact, that seems to be more the rule than the exception. But for now, investors seem to think VinFast is hotter than established American automakers which have been powering this nation for decades.
Images via VinFast