Vietnamese electric vehicle (EV) maker VinFast plans to ship its first EVs to Europe this year after receiving regulatory approval, its CEO told Reuters, as the European Union considers imposing tariffs on Chinese rivals.
Under the plan, about 3,000 of its VF8 crossovers would be delivered to France, Germany and the Netherlands in the fourth quarter of this year from VinFast’s factory in northern Vietnam, a source told Reuters.
Reuters noted the Nasdaq-listed company’s plan to expand into Europe quadruples a previous unmet target of delivering 700 cars by last July and came as the EU probe into Chinese EV makers created a possible gap in the market.
If the volume was reached, Europe could become VinFast’s biggest overseas market this year. The company shipped about 2,100 EVs earlier this year to the United States and planned to ship more VF9s, according to its first filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after the listing.
“We expect to deliver the first VF8 models to French, German and Dutch customers in the fourth quarter of this year,” Le Thi Thu Thuy, VinFast’s chief executive, told Reuters, adding the VF6, VF7 and VF9 would be launched in Europe in 2024.
Thuy did not indicate the number of VF8 sport utility vehicles (SUVs) but the Reuters source said it would be around 3,000 vehicles, including some for Israel.
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The VF8 had already been approved by a European regulator as compliant with EU standards and could be sold within the EU27 bloc, Thuy said.
The company is also completing procedures to obtain a voluntary Euro NCAP safety rating, she added.
Should the EU probe conclude punitive duties on China made EVs are warranted, VinFast could find its cars are more competitively priced.
Its VF8 model would start at EUR50,990 (US$54,200) in France. The China made Tesla Y, also threatened with EU tariffs, starts from EUR46,000.
Reuters noted VinFast’s expansion into Europe was part of a global plan which included building new factories in the United States and in Indonesia and also targeting India, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.