Vietnamese Electric Vehicle Startup VinFast Files for U.S. IPO, Recently Signed MoU to Build a $4 Billion EV Factory in North Carolina
【Summary】Vietnamese electric vehicle startup VinFast has big plans for expansion outside of its home country. On Thursday, its Singapore-based holding company filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with U.S. securities regulators. The plans were first reported by Reuters. The plans come after VinFast signed an MoU to build its electric vehicle factory in North Carolina. The company is investing up to $4 billion in the plant.
Vietnamese electric vehicle startup VinFast has big plans for expansion outside of its home country. On Thursday, its Singapore-based holding company filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with U.S. securities regulators. The plans were first reported by Reuters.
The plans come after VinFast signed an MoU to build its electric vehicle factory in North Carolina. The company is investing up to $4 billion in the plant to build its electric vehicles in the U.S.
North Carolina's Economic Investment Committee voted to approve an incentive package worth a total of more than $850 million for VinFast's automotive and electric battery assembly factory in Chatham County, NC.
According to Reuters, a source familiar with the company's plans said VinFast would probably look to raise about $2 billion from its IPO.
"VinFast is moving ahead with its plans but the timing of the IPO is very much open," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "There needs to be a window to get the IPO done and it could easily take a couple of months."
VinFast has not yet determined the IPO size and price range.
VinFast's Chief Executive Le Thi Thu Thuy told reporters on the sidelines of an event showcasing the company's new VF8 battery-powered SUV that its IPO is planned for the second half of this year. It will be one option to fund the construction of the multi-billion dollar factory in North Carolina, as well fund its U.S. expansion.
Last week the company said it signed a preliminary deal to initially invest $2 billion to build the North Carolina factory to make electric buses, sport utility vehicles and batteries for electric vehicles.
"Automotive assembly plants are incredible engines for economic growth, due to the positive ripple effects they create across a region's economy," said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders, when the plans were announced in late March. "I'm so pleased that VinFast has decided to launch their North America manufacturing operations from our state, and we'll work hard to make sure they find the skilled workforce they'll need to grow and thrive in North Carolina."
Global vehicles slated to be produced in North Carolina include the VinFast VF 9, a 7-passenger fully-electric Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), along with the VF8, a smaller 5-passenger, mid-size SUV.
VinFast said prices for its VF8 electric SUV will start from $41,000 in the U.S. The company is targeting global electric vehicle sales of 42,000 this year. VinFast launched its VF e34 compact electric SUV for the Vietnamese market in 2021.
VinFast was founded in 2017. The company says its strongly committed to a sustainable future of smart electric mobility. The company has already established global operations in the US, Canada, Germany, France and the Netherlands.
VinFast currently builds EVs in its home country of Vietnam, including e-scooters, electric buses and electric cars, along with charging stations and other green energy solutions.
VinFast already owns a state-of-the-art automotive manufacturing complex in Hai Phong, Vietnam that will have the capacity to produce 950,000 EVs per year by 2026. VinFast completed construction of the factory and developed its first three car models in just 21 months.
VinFast plans to launch global showrooms in the US, Canada and Europe, which is one of the reasons the company is looking to build a factory in the U.S. and tap into the growing EV segment.
VinFast unveiled the two new models at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Nov 2021, which were co-designed with Italian firm Pininfarina.The two electric SUVs will first go on sale in Europe, in the second half of the year, but are scheduled to reach the U.S. by the end of the year.
The company also introduced three additional EVs (the VF 5, VF 6 and VF 7) at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. VinFast says the five models allow VinFast to serve all five major vehicle segments, from small crossover to full-size SUVs.
A year ago sources told Reuters that VinFast was considering an IPO that could value the young company at about $60 billion, which could make it attractive to investors
The strong interest in electric vehicle stocks has helped make segment leader Tesla the world's most valuable automaker. Tesla's runaway success is paving the way for new companies like VinFast, along with China's electric vehicle startups XPeng and NIO Inc, to expand globally.
XPeng and NIO are also U.S. listed companies after launching their IPO's in 2018 and 2020.
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