In the busy streets of Hanoi, VinFast’s electric green buses are easily spotted. Viet Nam’s leading electric vehicles manufacturer and a subsidiary of Vingroup, the country’s largest private conglomerate, has been pioneering the country’s green energy transition decided by the government. While the company had been producing electric scooters and buses since 2018, in 2022, VinFast stopped making combustion engine cars to turn exclusively to electric vehicles (EVs). Firmly intending to become a global EV manufacturer, the company spares no effort to provide a full range of electric cars with innovative features and relies on strong IP protection.
The story of Vingroup started in Ukraine, where owner Pham Nhat Vuong was studying in the 1990s and co-founded a company named Technocom, which began with food production and rapidly expanded to become one of Ukraine’s top 100 largest companies. In the early 2000s, the company returned to Vietnam to contribute to the country’s development and became the Vingroup Joint Stock Company. Over the years, the Group has developed leading real estate, hospitality, retail, education, and healthcare businesses, with a presence in all 63 municipalities of Vietnam.
In 2017, Vingroup decided to enter the automotive market and launched VinFast with a firm intent to become a global player.
In the slick offices of VinFast headquarters, Bùi Kim Thùy, Vingroup Global Director of Strategic Partnerships and VinFast Deputy CEO, introduced the company, its products, and its plan for the future.
When Vingroup decided to establish VinFast, it provided massive financial support to its subsidiary, and in just 18 months, the company set up a state-of-the-art car manufacturing facility in Haiphong, an hour away from Hanoi. By 2022, the company had decided to stop manufacturing combustion engine cars, focusing entirely on electric vehicles, including cars, buses, scooters, and soon-to-come bikes.
According to Ms. Bùi, the company always intended to manufacture EVs and designed its factory accordingly. Another reason for the shift, she said, is that EVs are “an irreversible trend in the world, with increasing efforts worldwide to switch to cleaner transportation means for a greener planet, as customers are increasingly interested in EV products.” She also underlined the solid short-term development prospect of VinFast’s EVs, going beyond just a means of transportation to a step into the future with high-quality technology inside the car.
From its inception in 2017 to its current production capacity of some 250,000 EVs per year and growing, VinFast did not waste any time. “Speed is in the Vingroup DNA, and VinFast received great support from Vingroup regarding finance and human resources.”
According to Ms. Bùi, one of the main factors for the speedy development is the company’s “connecting global intelligence” strategy, which seeks and establishes partnerships with the largest players in the industry.
Quality, Affordability, and After-Sale Service Market Advantages
VinFast relies on three core values in a highly competitive global environment to make its mark on the market. The first one is the quality of its products, resulting from close collaborations with high-quality suppliers of the most advanced technology all through the value supply chain, Ms. Bùi said.
The second one is inclusive pricing. The company entertains “excellent cooperation with the world’s leading financial companies to provide diversified financial solutions to meet customers’ different financial capabilities and demands,” she said. As a result, VinFast products are accessible and affordable to a large consumer base.
However, VinFast’s most crucial market advantage is its “outstanding after-sales service,” she explained. With a warranty covering 125,000 miles or up to 10 years, VinFast is setting a new standard. The company’s after-sales service also offers comprehensive service solutions, including a network of public charging stations, home charging, mobile charging, roadside assistance, and remote updates.
VinFast’s EVs are equipped with the latest technologies, which include Mobile Home, Mobile Office, In-car Shopping, In-car Entertainment, and online meeting platforms. “Our cars also have voice-activated windows and temperature control, assisted driving and remote parking, and integrated controllers for smart home devices,” Ms. Bùi said, adding that in some models, a cloud-based digital twin platform provides innovative capabilities to enhance customers’ safety and comfort.
VinFast offers its customers a fixed monthly subscription for batteries. The subscription plan helps lower the sales price and minimizes the risk associated with batteries, as all battery repair and maintenance expenses are covered. Should the charging capacity fall below 70 percent, the batteries will be replaced, she said. VinFast VF 8’s battery range per full charge is 425 km (US Environmental Protection Agency Standard).
Ms. Bùi explained that through the subscription program, the company manages the recycling and repurposing of the uninstalled batteries, seeking to minimize the environmental impact.
The company also seeks to gain battery independence and applies a “3-prong” strategy. The first prong is buying the batteries from world-class manufacturers, the second is to work with partners to produce batteries, and the last one is to conduct R&D to be able to make its own batteries with sister company VinES (energy solutions).
Vingroup and all its subsidiaries own over 300 trademarks, and Vinfast holds nearly 80 industrial and design patents, with 12 more applications pending. The company applied for 30 trademark registrations outside of Viet Nam and is currently working on registering its brand in almost 100 countries through the WIPO-managed Madrid System.
IP registration, Ms. Bùi explained, helped the company enforce its legal rights and protect it against third-party infringement.
The initial aim of VinFast to become a global leader in EV is not abating. “We are a new brand in the world, but most other companies in the industry are at the same starting point.” “It is challenging,” she said, “but we are confident about the quality of our products and services.”
The current focus markets are Viet Nam, North America, and in Europe, the Netherlands, Germany, and France. “We still have a lot of destinations to cover,” she said, adding that the company frequently joins exhibitions and car shows, using a direct marketing strategy worldwide.
Furthermore, according to Ms. Bùi, VinFast will continue manufacturing and delivering a full electric vehicle lineup across the A to E segments.
The production of the Haiphong factory, which is over 90% automated with some 1,400 robots, could rapidly be increased from a capacity of 250,000 units per year to 950,000 vehicles per year, she said, adding that the company is building a factory in North Carolina, USA, to serve the North American market with a capacity of 150,000 vehicles per year.