In an sudden growth, Vietnamese automaker VinFast is mulling over the addition of a fifth automobile to its upcoming U.S. lineup, and it’s not your typical alternative. The contender? The VF3 mini crossover, initially designed for the Vietnamese market! Whereas this will likely increase some eyebrows, VinFast representatives have hinted on the VF3’s potential enchantment in the USA, notably as an inexpensive sub-$20,000 metropolis automobile focusing on budget-conscious American customers.
Unveiled in June, the VinFast VF3 boasts a compact, boxy profile with a high-riding stance, measuring a mere 122.6 inches in size. That makes it roughly 10 inches shorter than the same Baojun Yep, a creation ensuing from GM’s collaboration with Chinese language companions SAIC and Wuling. Whereas VinFast has been tight-lipped in regards to the VF3’s electrical powertrain specifics, the automaker emphasizes its functionality to ship an “spectacular journey distance” tailor-made to the standard day by day utilization patterns of Vietnamese drivers, exceeding 200 miles. Given its dimensions and market positioning, it’s possible the VF3 contains a single-motor, two-wheel-drive setup.
Intriguingly, regardless of its diminutive dimension, the VF3 has managed to seize the curiosity of potential VinFast sellers within the U.S., who’re actively encouraging the automaker to import it as an entry-level electrical automobile mannequin. VinFast acknowledges that it’s at the moment “investigating the demand and potential for the VF3 mannequin within the U.S., following the optimistic responses from our sellers.” The corporate has promised to unveil additional particulars sooner or later.
Notably, Vietnam’s pioneering automaker has lately transitioned from being a direct-to-consumer model to a hybrid retail mannequin, which additionally consists of franchised dealerships. The corporate is within the course of of choosing sellers nationwide, and it has made vital progress in recruiting 27 sellers throughout a dozen states to market its electrical automobiles following conferences with potential companions.
Duke Hale, a marketing consultant advising VinFast, disclosed that the automaker offered a life-sized foam mannequin of the VF3 throughout conferences with potential sellers held final month, one in Tampa, Florida, and one other in Dallas, Texas. Impressively, the response was overwhelmingly favorable, with almost one hundred pc of attending sellers expressing robust curiosity within the VF3. Hale attributes this enthusiasm to the VF3’s anticipated affordability, as it’s projected to be priced beneath $20,000.
Whereas VinFast has but to announce an official worth for the VF3 in Vietnam, the automaker has emphasised its dedication to conserving the mannequin accessible to the plenty. The tiny EV is even being hailed as a possible “nationwide automobile” for the Vietnamese inhabitants, with gross sales scheduled to start subsequent yr and deliveries within the third quarter of 2024.
At current, VinFast’s most budget-friendly providing in Vietnam is the bigger subcompact VF6, beginning at roughly $28,000. Nevertheless, if the VF3 makes its approach to the U.S. market with a sub-$20,000 MSRP, it may doubtlessly declare the title of America’s most inexpensive electrical automobile by a major margin.
VinFast has already confirmed 4 fashions for the U.S. market, all of that are crossovers: the mid-size VF8, already out there in California, the marginally bigger three-row VF9 beginning at $83,000, the VF6 subcompact, and the VF7 compact. The corporate can also be making preparations to assemble a manufacturing unit in North Carolina for the manufacturing of a few of these automobiles.