|The inauguration ceremony of VinFast electric car and motorcycle manufacturing complex. (Photo: sggp.org.vn)
64 years ago in 1958, Chien Thang (The Victory) factory in Hanoi made the first 4-seater car based on the French gasoline-powered Fragate. It was manufactured by Vietnamese people, but due to the difficulties of the nation’s war conditions, the "Victory" car was not mass-produced.
In the 1970’s, La Dalat was first car assembled and produced in Vietnam according to the standards of France’s Citroën. There were 4 La Dalat models, with 1,000 cars of each style sold from 1970 to 1975. In 1975 Citroën closed its subsidiary in Vietnam and stopped producing this model.
In 1991, the Mekong Auto Corporation was born. It was a joint venture company with South Korea owning 19%, Vietnam 30%, and Japan 51%. Since 1992, it began to assemble Mekong-branded passenger cars at Cuu Long Automobile Factory in Ho Chi Minh City, with spare parts mostly supplied by Ssangyong, a Korean automobile manufacturer. In 1997, the company stopped production of this brand due to a lack of components.
In 2004, Truong Hai Auto Corporation and Xuan Kien Auto Corporation (Vinaxuki) were licensed to manufacture and assemble cars in Vietnam. In 2012, Vinaxuki had to close while Truong Hai continues to assemble and distribute cars for big brands including Mazda, Kia, and Peugeot in Vietnam. Truong Hai has built Vietnam’s largest and most modern automobile manufacturing complex at Chu Lai Open Economic Zone in Quang Nam.
In September 2017, Vingroup commenced the construction of VinFast electric car and motorcycle manufacturing complex in Cat Hai district, Hai Phong city.
The same month, the first images of two VinFast models were released, displaying beautiful, luxurious and modern designs. VinFast’s logo of a stylized capital letter "V" crowning the front of the car illicit pride among Vietnamese people.
On June 14th, 2019, VinFast Manufacturing and Trading Company, under Vingroup, officially put into operation its car factory, 3 months ahead of the original September schedule.
Within 21 months, VinFast constructed, installed, tested, and began operation of its factory, creating a new miracle in the global automotive industry.
|On June 14, 2019, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who was then the Prime Minister, speaks at the inauguration ceremony of VinFast car factory.
In his address at the inauguration ceremony, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who was then the Prime Minister of Vietnam, spoke highly of the efforts made by the factory’s leaders and workers, adding that the record construction speed shows their great aspiration and enthusiasm to jointly create a miracle.
“There have been some doubts about VinFast's true intentions and many concerns about the risks and challenges that VinFast is facing when it participates in an industry with strict elimination rules and extremely fierce competition. It is an industry that Vietnam has been trying to build for many years, but hadn’t gained a success. The launch of VinFast automobile factory today has partly dispelled some of those doubts,” said Mr. Phuc.
He called on VinFast, as an important player in the domestic auto industry and the national economy, to supply the domestic market of nearly 100 million people with automobiles.
While Vietnam has a fast-growing middle class, the rate of car ownership remains very low – just 21 cars per 1,000 people compared to 790 cars per 1,000 people in the US or 204 cars per 1,000 people in Thailand.
“We don’t see the domestic market as a large and potential market, but consider it an important resource and input for VinFast’s sustainable development and acceleration. Why can't we work together to produce a car whose ideas and technologies have been shared and popularized for more than 100 years? VinFast has rallied excellent people. But if you can combine the power of nearly 100 million people, the power will be even greater. The achievements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution have connected our minds together. VinFast will gain more strength, support, and energy from Vietnamese people once its interests are closely associated with the interests of customers and for the interests of Vietnam,” according to Mr. Phuc.
VinFast began to hand over the first batch of cars to customers at the end of July 2019. The “Made in Vietnam” cars were seen driving on the streets only 21 months after “birth,” setting a world record for the production time of commercial vehicles brought to market.
At the end of October 2019, in Melaka, Malaysia, VinFast was awarded the highest safety certification by the New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asia (ASEAN NCAP) for both the VinFast Lux SA2.0 and Lux A2.0 lines.
On March 24th, 2021, VinFast opened sales for the first electric car model - VF e34. After only 12 hours, VinFast received 3,692 orders for VF e34, creating a new record in the Vietnamese auto market. VF e34 became the first-ever electric car from Vietnam, marking a new milestone for Vietnam to be one of the few countries in the world that has mastered electric car production technology.
On July 12, last year, VinFast officially put branches into operation in the US, Canada, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, in preparation for its launch into the international market.
At the end of March this year, VinFast and the government of North Carolina, the US, signed a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of VinFast's first electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facility in North America.
Both the US Secretary of Energy and the US Secretary of Commerce spoke highly of VinFast's 2 billion USD project which they said is in line with the Biden administration’s efforts to build a clean energy economy.
US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said, "VinFast is just the latest example of companies that have responded to the President by efforts with enormous investment of their own. I can bet that they won't be the last. So I want to thank VinFast again for choosing America for making sure you can hire people working in America for putting us on the path to more energy independence."
To date, VinFast has made 5 car models - Fadil, Lux SA2.0, Lux A2.0, VF e34, and President.