When VinFast, a Vietnamese EV manufacturer, finally ships its first electric SUVs, the VinFast VF8 models, to European customers in the fourth quarter of this year, they are sure to make quite a splash. VinFast’s CEO, Le Thi Thu Thuy, has announced that the first vehicles will be sold in the Netherlands, France, and Germany.
VinFast is not just taking Europe for a spin; this is a calculated business move. The timing of VinFast’s announcement is excellent, coming as it does as the EU considers imposing tariffs on Chinese competitors. The company has been given the green light to sell its EVs in Europe, sparking renewed interest in a thriving industry.
An anonymous source claims that in the fourth quarter of this year, the French, the Germans, the Dutch, and, interestingly enough, the Israelis will receive around 3,000 VF8 mid-size crossovers. The production center for these automobiles is located in the north of Vietnam, where VinFast operates. The CEO has been cagey about how many VF8 SUVs will be shipped to Europe this year.
VinFast’s European expansion happens as Europe tries to deal with the possibility of a market being saturated by Chinese imports. Because of questions and worries about the market being flooded by cheap Chinese products, the EU has launched an investigation into Chinese state subsidies for electric vehicles. Several Chinese automakers, including BYD, MG, Zeekr, Nio, and XPeng, are working to increase their market share in Europe by providing vehicles at lower prices.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce responded to the EU investigation by calling it a “naked protectionist act” and claiming that China’s EV industry’s competitive edge does not come from government subsidies. The government agency is dedicated to protecting the lawful interests of Chinese businesses.
VinFast VF8 Shipment
If the anonymous tip about the 3,000 VF8s is correct, Europe will overtake the United States this year as VinFast’s largest overseas market. Approximately 2,100 VF8 EVs were previously exported to the United States, and shipments of the larger VF9 SUV are scheduled to begin by the year’s end.
The original plan called for VinFast to make its debut in Europe in the second half of 2022, but a global shortage of semiconductors forced the company to change course. Despite this setback, the company has so far delivered 11,315 electric vehicles, most of them to Vietnam. Still confident, VinFast plans to deliver between 40,000 and 50,000 vehicles in 2023.
In 2024, VinFast plans to expand beyond the borders of Europe. The automaker has lofty expansion goals, with an eye on 50 new global markets. The expansion of this Vietnamese firm into new markets demonstrates its intent to become an international powerhouse in the EV industry.