American clients receive the first electric vehicles from VinFast in Vietnam.

VinFast: A Vietnamese private automotive company

A Vietnamese private automotive company

VinFast Exported to the USA

VinFast, a Vietnamese manufacturer of electric vehicles, announced on Friday that it has transported its first shipment of 999 vehicles to the United States, completing a five-year effort to establish an auto production hub in the Southeast Asian nation for markets in North America and Europe and the first vehicles should be delivered to clients by the end of December.

Some of the VF 8 electric SUVs being transported on Friday will go to the American car-subscription service Autonomy, according to VinFast Chief Executive Le Thi Thu Thuy, but the rest will go to retail customers who have ordered the vehicle. VinFast's first export market, the United States, will receive a second batch of vehicles sometime in January, according to Thuy.

Manufacturing Facility in North Carolina

In North Carolina, VinFast is constructing an electric vehicle manufacturing facility while awaiting final regulatory certification from local authorities. According to Thuy, the business anticipates beginning production at the North Carolina facility in July 2024, and electric vehicles produced there will be eligible for subsidies under the conditions of the Inflation Reduction Act, which was approved by American President Joe Biden.

According to the Inflation Reduction Act, as it stands now, manufacturers must source 50% of the crucial materials used in EV batteries from North America or U.S. allies by 2024 and increase that number to 80% by the end of 2026. The targets, according to major manufacturers, are unattainable, and it wasn't immediately obvious how VinFast would satisfy the sourcing standards.

The IRA surprised us all, but it has little effect on our approach in the United States, Thuy said Reuters. "Our customers will be qualified (for) the tax credit) as soon as we start manufacturing automobiles in the U.S.," the company said. VinFast reported last week that Autonomy had placed its largest corporate order to date—2,500 electric vehicles—with them. According to VinFast, it has almost 65,000 orders worldwide and anticipates selling 750,000 EVs annually by 2026. Based on the company's initial expectations, the North Carolina factory project is months behind schedule, and VinFast's maiden shipment of EVs fell short of the planned target to deliver as many as 5,000 vehicles produced at its factory in Haiphong by December.

Lucky Number 999

According to representatives of VinFast, the number 999 was picked for the initial batch of vehicles transported because it is lucky in Vietnam. There isn't a luckier number than 999, according to Thuy. Up to 2,000 vehicles could have been transported on the cargo ship rented by Panama that was used to bring the first batch of VinFast EVs, according to officials. On Friday morning, shares of Vingroup, the listed parent company of VinFast and a developer of hotels and real estate, rose 5.41%.

Courtesy REUTERS

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