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EV Startup VinFast Simultaneously Opens Six Retail Stores in California as it Prepares to Enter the U.S. Market

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【Summary】Vietnam-based electric vehicle startup VinFast says its strongly committed to a sustainable future of smart electric mobility and is preparing to enter the U.S. market with its two new electric SUVs. On July 14, the company opened its first six retail showrooms in California, with many more to come. The automaker’s strategy is to expand its network of retail locations in order to build personalized relationships with its customers.

Eric Walz    Jul 16, 2022 5:00 AM PT
EV Startup VinFast Simultaneously Opens Six Retail Stores in California as it Prepares to Enter the U.S. Market
The VinFast retail store in Santa Monica.

Electric vehicle startup VinFast says its strongly committed to a sustainable future of smart electric mobility and is preparing to enter the U.S. market with its two new electric SUVs. On July 14, the company simultaneously opened its first six U.S. retail showrooms in California, with many more to come. 

The retail stores will showcase and sell VinFast's electric vehicles. Visitors will also get to experience the company's high-end customer service. It's a similar retail model as EV startups Rivian, Polestar and Lucid Group that don't have a traditional network of dealerships.

The automaker's strategy is to expand its network of retail locations in order to build personalized relationships with its customers, ensuring convenience, peace of mind throughout the process of buying and owning a VinFast electric vehicle.

The first six VinFast stores are located in prime locations across California, including Santa Monica, San Diego, San Mateo, Berkeley, Corte Madera and Commerce. The Santa Monica location is at Santa Monica Place, one of the most high-traffic shopping centers in the Los Angeles metro area.

VinFast stores include three different footprints designated as VinFast 1S, 2S, and 3S, depending on their locations and type. 

VinFast 1S stores are primarily located in high-visibility shopping centers and are focused on vehicle display and sales. VinFast 2S stores will be visibly located on major thoroughfares and offer both parts and service. The 2S stores will also support nearby VinFast 1S stores. The VinFast 2S stores support neighborhoods without other store types, but are expected to have high concentrations of VinFast customers. 

VinFast 3S stores will be the largest store types and will have full car and parts sales along with service centers. 

Each store is designed to convey the "Future of Mobility'' theme, with a futuristic and minimalist design language. The stores will offer interactive technology for what VinFast calls a seamless "Online-to-Offline" customer experience. 

At the VinFast stores, customers can explore the interior and exterior details of VinFast's two electric SUVs – the VF 8, which is a fully-electric 5-passenger, mid-size SUV, and the VF 9, a 7-passenger SUV. 

Visitors can also learn more about VinFast's flexible and innovative sales plans and engage one-on-one with VinFast consultants on questions regarding both products and services.

"The opening of the first six VinFast Stores in the US marks an important milestone in the company's global journey, as we move toward bringing premium products and services to American consumers," said Madam Le Thi Thu Thuy, Vingroup Vice Chairwoman and VinFast Global CEO. "I believe that introducing VinFast and interacting with customers one-on-one in our corporate-owned and operated stores is the best way to build relationships with customers and to ensure quality service. We are proud to drive the global EV revolution towards a sustainable future. This future officially takes its next step today in California and will soon expand across the US and globally."

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The VinFast VF 8 and VF 9 electric SUVs.

Vietnam-based VinFast was founded in 2017. The company has since established global operations in the US, Canada, Germany, France and the Netherlands. VinFast launched its VF e34 compact electric SUV for the Vietnamese market in 2021.

VinFast unveiled the VF 8 and VF 9 electric SUVs at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Nov 2021. The vehicles were co-designed with Italian firm Pininfarina.The two SUVs will first go on sale in Europe, in the second half of this 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 it to serve all five major vehicle segments, from small crossovers to full-size SUVs.

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. 

Last month, VinFast announced its "VinFast Charged-Up" program for customers who reserve a one of its SUVs by Sept 30, 2022. All customers reserving the VinFast VF 8 or VF 9 SUV between now and Sept 30 will receive complimentary charging for three years and a one-year VinFast Smart Driving package, which includes Level 2+ ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) and a "Smart Services"' suite. Customers can also opt for a $1,200 installation credit for the installation of a Level 2 home charger.

For reservations made before May 31, 2022, this new program will be automatically applied.

This Smart Driving package includes, automated lane changing assist, smart parking assist, remote parking assist, smart summon mode, Amazon Alexa voice assistant, geo-fencing, live traffic, satellite view, smart home control, and more.

In April, VinFast's Singapore-based holding company filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with U.S. securities regulators. The IPO filing followed the signing of an MOU to build an EV factory in North Carolina. VinFast is investing up to $4 billion to build its electric vehicles in the U.S. Global vehicles slated to be built in North Carolina include the VF 9 and VF8. 

North Carolina's Economic Investment Committee voted to approve an incentive package worth a total of more than $850 million for VinFast's vehicle and battery assembly factory in Chatham County, NC.

VinFast also 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, an unprecedented speed in the auto industry. 

Tesla's runaway success as the world's most valuable automaker is paving the way for new EV companies like VinFast to gain a foothold in the growing EV segment and expand to the U.S. and globally.


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