Vietnam’s carmaker, VinFast, is getting ready to push into North America and Europe.
Reuters reports the company now has offices in five countries, and the VinFast USA CEO is now based on American soil, not in Vietnam.
The news comes just two months after the closure of the brand’s Australian design and engineering office in Port Melbourne, Victoria, less than a year after its June 2020 opening.
The office was meant to be a development hub for next-generation VinFast petrol and electric cars, staffed by around 100 ex-Ford, Holden, Jaguar Land Rover, and Toyota employees.
VinFast remains the owner of the Lang Lang proving ground once owned by Holden, having paid around $30 million for the facility in 2020.
According to a recent investor report, VinFast will eventually have offices in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Paris, and Frankfurt by 2022. It’s currently headquartered in Hai Phong, Vietnam.
Owned by property developer Phạm Nhật Vượng, VinFast has ambitious plans for the future.
It currently produces four vehicles, along with a number of electric motorcycles. All its current cars are based on old BMW or General Motors platforms.
Come 2022, the brand will launch two electric cars. Both the VFe35 and VFe36 promise a maximum range around 500km, with motors making up to 300km of power and 640Nm of torque.
Both models are targeting five-star Euro NCAP and NHTSA safety results, and will pack a full suite of active driver assists for semi-autonomous highway driving.
VinFast is targeting annual production numbers of 250,000 cars and 500,000 motorbikes at a 700ha Vietnamese manufacturing plant, although there’s headroom to expand those figures if demand necessitates it.
Currently, there are no plans to sell cars in Australia.