Vietnam’s VinFast unveils its first two vehicles

VinFast, Vietnam’s very own automaker is planning to debut its sedan and SUV at the upcoming Paris Motor Show on October 2nd. VinFast is looking to build upon itself as being Vietnam’s very own auto brand. Back in June, GM and VinFast signed an agreement that allows VinFast to take ownership in GM’s Hanoi plant, as well as distribution rights of GM’s Chevrolet brand in Vietnam. VinFast plans to sell its own vehicles using the existing Chevrolet dealership network across Vietnam. The brand is very similar to Taiwan’s Luxgen, which prides itself as a local brand. Luxgen started in 2009 with just the M7 minivan and U7 SUV a year later, but over the past decade as seen its lineup grow with the addition of other vehicles. VinFast is starting out with just its two vehicles, which are using BMW platforms for its own production cars.

Both the sedan and SUV were designed by Italian design firm Pininfarina. However, that wasn’t originally the designer preference as VinFast conducted a design contest to see what styling direction VinFast should take. VinFast took 20 sketches from four Italian design firms and put it to a vote. The nationwide poll, which had over 62,000 people vote ultimately determined this styling direction. As you can see both vehicles feature a “V” prominently placed on both the front and rear of its vehicles. VinFast is looking to give its vehicles an upscale feel, similar to what Luxgen has done with its brand.

VinFast is looking to start out using BMW’s F10 5-Series and F15 X5 platforms for its initial two vehicles, while at the same time using BMW’s 2.0L four-cylinder N20 turbo engines, but without the Valvetronic variable valve timing system. With this engine there will be two horsepower figures: 175hp and 227hp. The transmission will also be German with its ZF 8 speed.

Despite using an outgoing BMW platform with some new skin on top, VinFast engineers are looking to keep this platform fresh and up to date. VinFast is hoping to have its cars pass global regulations to allow for exports in the future. VinFast is looking to globally source much of its components by utilizing services from well-established automotive contractors such as Bosch, Magna, and Siemens.

Both the sedan and SUV will begin sales in September 2019. VinFast plans to produce a wide range of passenger cars and electric scooters. By 2025 it hopes to build 500,000 vehicles per year and 1 million e-scooters too.

VinFast has a lot of ambition and work cut out for it, as Luxgen started out almost a decade ago and has still struggled to grow. Luxgen despite having a lineup covering a wide range of different segments it has seen its sales decline over the last couple of years. Market scope is limited with just only China and Taiwan being the main markets for the brand. The Luxgen brand is also exported in limited numbers to countries like Russia and the United Arab Emirates, and even the United States (a limited number of Luxgen M7 electric vehicles are seen in California), but sales in these countries are less than 10,000 cars a year. Even after all these years Luxgen struggles selling more than 100,000 a year, if that. Both Luxgen and VinFast are a country’s pride and joy, and both have/had similar ambitions.

We wish VinFast the best!

Image Credits: VinFast

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