A VinFast VF8 electric car on display in a showroom.
Yu Ruidong | China News Service | Getty Images
It has been a challenge for Vietnamese electric car maker VinFast to crack the US market amid fierce competition and subdued demand.
VinFast lower monthly rental rates for its first-time US buyers to $399, down from $599 per month. American rivals like Tesla lowered prices to attract more customers and drive sales, at the same time Clear forecast lower-than-expected production for 2023 after orders fell.
But VinFast’s CEO is still positive about the long-term demand for electric cars.
“I think everyone agrees that the whole industry or the whole world is moving from internal combustion engine to electric cars,” CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Tuesday.
“And if you take that view, and if you look at the legislation in all the different countries and and imagine how many electric vehicles need to be on the road in the next few years, in the next decade, there’s a lot of room for a lot of players in the market , says Le.
She added that VinFast is entering the market “with clear approaches” such as offering premium quality and accessibility for the mass market without cutting corners on cybersecurity and functional security.
“We still have a lot to prove. There is a lot ahead of us,” Le said.
Software problems delayed deliveries of VinFast’s first batch of cars to US buyers from December 2022 to March 2023. But on March 1, only 45 SUVs came out of 999 EVs which was to be delivered.
VinFast cars are not currently eligible for $7,500 US tax credit because they are not made in the US, but made in Vietnam – which will affect their sales in the US.
“Of course, in the long run, we’re also pushing for the plants in North Carolina and to make sure that our vehicles in the future will be eligible for tax benefits under the IRA,” Le said.
Le previously told CNBC that the company is in the final stage to obtain permission for its manufacturing facility in North Carolina and that the facility is on track to start production in 2024.
While the company filed for an IPO in December, it has yet to launch its roadshow.
“For us, it’s not about raising money but it’s very much about making the company more international and other corporate purposes and the market as you know has been challenging,” Le said.