Vietnam's Vinfast to start UK sales later this year

3 months, 2 weeks ago - 8 January 2024, autocar
Vietnam's Vinfast to start UK sales later this year
Seven-year-old brand will continue its expansion into Europe, though no model line-up has been confirmed

Vietnamese electric car maker Vinfast will start selling cars in the UK before the end of the year, Autocar has learned.

Vinfast was founded in 2017 by Vietnam’s richest person, Pham Nhat Vuong, as an extension of his Vingroup empire and has since expanded into select European countries as well as the US.

No model line-up has been announced yet but in France, Germany and Netherlands Vingroup is currently selling its VF 8 mid-size SUV, which the firm claims can travel up to 471km (293 miles) on a full charge of its 87.7kWh battery pack. The VF 8 costs from €50,990 (£43,900) in France.

Vinfast has also shown the VF 9 seven-seat large SUV that is now available to order in its continental Europe markets from €90,590 (£78,000). Other models it has previously announced are the smaller VF 5 and VF 6 SUVs. Buyers are being lured with the promise of good specification as well as a 10-year/200,000km (124,280-mile) warranty.

Vinfast is currently expanding its UK team ahead of deliveries beginning later this year and has hired the former head of Genesis UK, Andrew Pilkington, as deputy CEO of the country. Pilkington has also previously worked for Polestar and Maserati and will oversee sales and marketing for the company in his role, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Vinfast hit the headlines in August last year after floating on the US Nasdaq stock exchange and was briefly worth more $160 billion – more than Ford, GM, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. However, after first soaring in value, the share price has since fallen sharply.

The company has also been hit by negative reviews of its cars in the US, with some testers complaining that the VF 8 was not developed enough to compete against rivals.

Vinfast’s ambitious global roll-out has been pushed by Vuong, who switched from chairman to the more hands-on position of CEO in early January.

The brand has been supported by the wider Vingroup, which has a range of interests in Vietnam, including property and holiday resorts.

Vinfast will go head-to-head with Chinese car makers such as Chery, which announced potential plans to build a UK factory by 2030, and Great Wall, as well as SUV-focused brands including KGM, formerly known as Ssangyong.

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