The past four years have gone quickly and eventfully since Vietnamese EV manufacturer VinFast made its global debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. Now VinFast is back, strutting onto the Paris stage as Vietnam’s first and only smart EV maker, with plans to expand production into the United States.
This year in Paris, VinFast will introduce the European market to its premium electric vehicle lineup covering the subcompact B segment up to the midsize E segment.
“The global debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show substantiated Vietnam’s capability to produce cars,” stated Madam Le Thi Thu Thuy, vice chairwoman of Vingroup and Global CEO of VinFast. “VinFast is proud to return to the 2022 Paris Motor Show to prove that Vietnam is not only capable of making cars but also making a great leap toward the electrified revolution.”
The company is launching four new models, including the VF 6, VF 7, VF 8 and VF 9. Most importantly, the VF 6 and VF 7 belong to the B and C segments respectively, which are more popular in Europe than the larger D and E segments.
The two smaller vehicles were jointly designed between VinFast and Torino Design for European flavor. Then the Pininfarina-designed VF 8 and VF 9 models will be the first two electric SUV models from VinFast.
The first 100 VF 8 SUVs were recently delivered to customers in Vietnam. Approximately 5,000 more VF 8 models are due for delivery to customers in international markets later this year, including the United States. TheDetroitBureau.com has already been behind the wheel of the VF 8 and rendered an initial impression.
All VinFast models will come with a 10-year warranty, matching established players like Kia and Hyundai. Additionally, the company plans a new battery lease program to assuage concerns about the lithium-ion battery lifecycle and degradation.
The first recall
Like any automaker, VinFast is having its share of growing pains. Most notably, the company is putting that long warranty to work with a recall to replace side crash sensors in 730 of the company’s VF e34 subcompact crossovers.
However, only 709 units have been delivered to customers, with 21 currently remaining at the VinFast factory or with dealers in Vietnam. The total number recalled represents about a third of VinFast’s total production of 2,208 vehicles.
“According to the information provided by VinFast’s airbag supplier, the side collision sensor of the VF e34 airbag system could be incompatible with the controller. When colliding, the side collision sensor may send inaccurate signals to the controller, potentially causing late and failures of airbag deployment, risking the safety of the users,” VinFast said in a statement.
It’s worth noting this is a proactive recall, as no failures have been reported in vehicles delivered to customers. The same fault has not been reported in the VF 8 and VF 9 SUVs that will be imported to the United States beginning in November 2022. VinFast has already secured 30 corporate-owned showroom locations in California. The company also plans a U.S. stock offering concurrent with the sales launch in the United States.