Vietnamese company sets its sights on Europe at a potentially advantageous time.
Vietnam-based electric vehicle manufacturer VinFast plans to launch its first e-cars on the European market this year. Le Thi Thu Thuy, CEO of the company, stated this to Reuters news agency. Deliveries of the VF 8 SUV model to customers in France, Germany, and the Netherlands are planned, he said. Exports of other models are to follow in 2024.
While the CEO did not give any figures on how many SUVs are involved, an insider, who did not want to be named, told Reuters of around 3,000 units. Europe could thus replace the U.S. as currently the largest overseas market for the Vietnamese passenger car manufacturer: So far, about 1,200 cars from VinFast have gone to the United States, with the first shipment taking place in March this year (we reported). However, the company continues to strengthen its presence in the United States and is currently building a production facility for e-cars, where the first passenger cars are expected to roll off the assembly line in 2025. VinFast’s production of electric cars is also scheduled to start in Germany in the same year (we reported).
Is This an Opportune Time For VinFast?
The announcement comes at a time when Europe is increasingly cracking down on alleged market distortions by China’s e-car industry. Last week, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced an anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese electric vehicles, saying they were flooding the global market. The People’s Republic responded with harsh criticism. VinFast’s electric cars could well be price-competitive with the Chinese offering should the EU impose punitive tariffs on China, Reuters adds. France, which is also to be supplied with cars from Vietnam, adjusted its criteria for state subsidies for the purchase of e-cars a few days ago in order, among other things, to curb the presence of Chinese e-vehicles on the French market.
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