Vietnam’s VinFast says it is expecting an almost seven-fold increase in sales of its electric vehicles (EVs) this year, as it ramps up exports to North America and starts shipping to Europe.
The company’s founder Pham Nhat Vuong projected sales of between 40,000 and 50,000 EVs this year, up from about 7,400 in 2022 when the company’s only market was Vietnam.
“If things go as planned,” VinFast could hit break even as soon as the end of 2024, Vuong told investors at the company’s annual general meeting on Wednesday.
Vuong added VinFast planned to add two other models to its line-up – an electric pickup truck and a battery-powered city or “mini car.” The latter would be priced between $10,000 and $12,000, he said, making it an ultra-low-cost EV.
This is the first outlook VinFast has offered since announcing a plan earlier this month to list in the United States via a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Black Spade Acquisition.
The EV-maker has previously missed some of its internal delivery targets.
“When the market is robust again and sentiment improves… VinFast will bring back financial happiness,” Vuong said, referring to a weakening global economy and hefty discounts being offered by EV giants like Tesla.
VinFast had earlier received funding pledges of $2.5 billion from Vietnam’s largest conglomerate Vingroup and Vuong, Vietnam’s first billionaire.
The company said as of the end of last year it had provided just over $8 billion to VinFast, which has not yet made a profit.
US push in focus
VinFast’s SPAC deal is expected to close in the second half of 2023.
Vingroup said in a written presentation at the meeting that the listing “opens up potential fundraising opportunities for Vingroup in general and VinFast in particular from the global markets.” It did not provide further details.
VinFast delivered its first model, the VF 8, to customers in California in March after delays and the company’s disclosure that the car would have a lower battery range than it had advertised to buyers.
The company shipped a second batch of VF 8s that arrived in California last week that it said would have a longer battery range.
VinFast, which began operations in 2019, has a plant in Vietnam and plans for a second plant to open in North Carolina in 2025.
In Europe, where VinFast has not yet begun deliveries, it will face off against a growing range of Chinese-made EVs from the likes of BYD, NIO and Zeekr, a unit of China’s Geely.
An electric pick-up truck would face competition from Rivian Automotive, Ford Motor’s F-150 Lightning and other models. The entry-level, small EV would face competition from Chinese-made electric vehicles, including from BYD.
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena