VinFast Seeks to Win Fast the US Market, Presents Two New Vehicles at CES 2024

VinFast VF Wild & VF 3 at CES 2024 6 photos
Photo: VinFast
VinFast VF Wild & VF 3 at CES 2024VinFast VF Wild & VF 3 at CES 2024VinFast VF Wild & VF 3 at CES 2024VinFast rangeVinFast VF Wild & VF 3 at CES 2024
VinFast Auto is Vietnam's "leading electric vehicle manufacturer" - probably because there's not much local competition in the field. However, they also feel ready to take on the big kahunas of America's EV playground.
Looking to attack Tesla on its home turf is a big endeavor by legacy automakers these days, let alone by a 'startup' automaker coming from Vietnam. Alas, VinFast – established six years ago as Vietnam's first global car brand and first EV manufacturer – doesn't think this is such a tall order and has already devised a strategy.

We heard the company was coming to attack the EV block last year when it started expanding its US dealer network, looking to have hundreds of them to conquer the market. They already have four models they are planning to sell, and before the start of 2024, the emphasis was mainly on the VF 8, a mid-size electric crossover SUV in production since 2022 with FWD or dual-motor AWD powertrains and up to 402 horsepower.

Clearly a direct jab at Tesla's Model Y, this model needs all the help it can get because it's not that easy to win against the world's best-selling nameplate. No worries, VinFast dropped by CES 2024 to spice things up just when we thought that all we were getting were tech-related automotive product announcements. Luckily, alongside the quirky Honda concepts now, there are also a couple of new products from VinFast.

The first one is dubbed VF 3 and is now rolling out globally as its latest electric model after initially premiering at home in Vietnam – "a dynamic mini-eSUV, packed with character and personality, (which) adds a new dimension to smart, sustainable, and accessible urban mobility for everyone." The good news is that it's coming to America, too, looking all adorable like a tiny Suzuki Jimny electric. The blocky four-person SUV is 125.6 by 66.1 by 63.8 inches, making it ideal for city driving, and has a targeted range of 125 miles on a full charge. First reservations will open later this year on a per-market basis.

More importantly, VinFast also brought the VF Wild, its latest electric vehicle concept, to CES 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Looking like something that could take a swing both at Rivian's R1T and the ICE-powered mid-size pickup truck establishment led by the hybridized N400 Toyota Tacoma, this prototype is not just Vietnam's take on the matter. Instead, it was jointly developed by VinFast and Australian design studio Gomitiv.

Looking decidedly modern, the VF Wild is 209 inches (5324 mm) long and 79 inches (1997 mm) wide but also comes with a flexible bed size. More precisely, the "vehicle combines the practicality of a power-folding mid-gate to provide a class-leading bed length designed to expand from 5 to 8 feet with the rear seats folded down automatically." There's also a panoramic glass roof and digital exterior mirrors, but absolutely no information regarding essential facts and figures like payload or maximum towing capacity. Also, the company doesn't say anything about the EV's powertrain.

As such, don't expect it anytime soon on the market – the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier, Honda Ridgeline, and Jeep Gladiator are pretty safe for now from this potential market disruptor. Alas, we heard that VinFast is currently building its own US factory in Chatham County, North Carolina, worth around $4 billion – and if they start making the VF Wild there, it could easily become a noteworthy competitor.

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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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