The automaker introduced the consolidation of its U.S. and Canadian operations on Jan. 25, and Bloomberg reported about 80 worker layoffs as a part of the transfer this week.
VinFast’s North American headquarters is in Los Angeles.
VinFast mentioned in a press release to Automotive Information that it was continuing usually with its plans for the North American market, together with the development of an meeting plant in North Carolina.
Final month’s consolidation of its U.S. and Canadian operations is designed to optimize effectivity and “is not going to have an effect on VinFast’s retail growth plans,” the corporate mentioned. VinFast has opened 10 shops in California and 9 in Canada. “The consolidation doesn’t have an effect on the manufacturing in Vietnam or the manufacturing unit plans for North Carolina.”
VinFast mentioned that its first car to reach within the U.S., the VF 8 Metropolis Version, has been up to date with the most recent software program and authorized by the EPA for 207 miles of vary. “The automobiles are anticipated to be delivered to U.S. clients by the second half of this month,” the corporate mentioned.
The automaker has loved principally upbeat media protection, beginning with the presentation of its first automobiles on the Los Angeles Auto Present in 2021. VinFast introduced extra automobiles at CES final month, drawing reward for his or her enticing styling and trendy interiors.
However the firm’s compelling origin story in Vietnam, the place it began manufacturing of gasoline automobiles in 2019 earlier than shifting into EVs two years later, is arising in opposition to the realities of a extremely aggressive North American automobile market.
“I feel VinFast is beginning to shortly study america isn’t the best place to launch a brand new automobile firm,” mentioned Robby DeGraff, trade analyst at AutoPacific. “These sweeping job cuts are positively alarming, particularly if you have a look at VinFast’s product highway map past the VF 8.”
VinFast can also be planning a manufacturing unit in North Carolina for its four-vehicle lineup. The long run VF 6 and VF 7 are smaller than the VF 8 and VF 9, that are positioned as premium fashions. The VF 9 begins at $84,200 with transport.
In December, VinFast mentioned it had filed for an preliminary inventory providing within the U.S. to boost cash for its growth.
From an outsider’s perspective, DeGraff mentioned, VinFast burst onto the U.S. scene with sturdy advertising, ample media occasions and confidence in its world growth. Latest occasions now elevate questions in regards to the automaker’s momentum.
“There have been grand, rock star-like press journeys over to Vietnam, flashy debuts at auto reveals, and extra locations in California are seeing standalone VinFast shops come on the map,” DeGraff mentioned. “However is the hyperambitious Vietnamese automaker realizing it must decelerate and make cuts for long-term success? Possibly.”
Along with the job cuts and worth cuts, VinFast suspended its plan to launch with a battery-leasing program. That gross sales mannequin would have allowed it to decrease sticker costs by promoting automobiles with out their battery pack. VinFast then would have leased the battery for a separate month-to-month cost relying on miles pushed. The corporate has mentioned it might revive the plan.
“This yr, I really feel, goes to be very fascinating for VinFast,” DeGraff mentioned.
Reuters contributed to this report.