Vietnamese electric car maker VinFast (VFS) may soon launch the cheapest electric car in the US. VinFast has shown its VF 3 electric car to US dealers, which could start under $20,000.
VinFast is considering adding a fifth electric model to its US lineup, which could serve an important market.
The electric car maker currently sells the VF e34, VF 5, VF 8 and VF 9, but new models are on the way. VinFast is preparing to launch VF 6 and VF 7 in Vietnam ahead of global deliveries.
Its latest addition – the VF 3. Although the electric microcar is specifically designed for Vietnam, it could find another home in the US, among other global markets.
VinFast introduced the VF 3 in June, a compact yet functional electric mini car. The mini SUV is only 10.2 feet (3,114 mm) long, but it can seat five people.
Although the car is compact, it has high ground clearance and is equipped with 16-inch wheels.
VinFast is expected to start sales of the VF 3 in Vietnam next year. So what about the US?
Is VinFast launching a $20,000 electric car in the US?
This was reported by company representatives Automotive News that VinFast is considering adding the electric car to its US lineup. The VinFast VF 3 could start around $20,000 as the cheapest EV in the states.
VinFast is changing its strategy as it seeks to sell models through US dealers. The electric car manufacturer has already had several meetings with the overall feedback being positive.
VinFast customs AN“We are in discussions with most major, established US dealers following positive responses from our dealers.” Adding “Further details will be announced in due course.”
Duke Hale, an advisor to VinFast, explained that with other A-segment vehicles like the Chevy Spark and Fiat 500 on hold, this could leave room for VinFast.
Potential VinFast dealers want the VF 3 to attract buyers looking for an affordable EV starting around $20,000.
Hale said the EV maker has had two meetings with prospective dealers in the past month. VinFast even brought a life-size foam model of the VF3 to show the dealers.
The adviser said that almost all dealers (about 100 of them) want to see the VF 3 make its way to the US.
“They liked the whole lineup, but the VF 3, I’d say, got almost a 100 percent response.” Hale explained in an interview, “They really liked the VF 3, and the reason is that it’s probably under $20,000.”
Although pricing has yet to be revealed for the VF 3, VinFast’s larger VF 6 starts at approximately $26,000 in Vietnam.
VinFast unveiled four EVs for its US lineup, including the VF 6, VF 7, VF 8 and the three-row VF 9. It also broke ground on its first EV plant in the US in July. But a $20,000 electric car would offer something unique and sought after.
Although the US market is known for its large trucks and SUVs, there is a growing segment of buyers looking for smaller, more efficient vehicles.
In this segment, price is usually a big issue (in addition to performance). At $20,000, the VF 3 can offer “something that no other automaker can possibly touch,” according to Hale.
The VF 3 can also qualify for a $7,500 EV tax credit through a lease, potentially bringing prices up to $12,500 for buyers.
VinFast has struggled to gain traction in the U.S. market, with electric car leader Tesla cutting prices throughout the year, forcing other automakers to follow suit. When asked why US dealers would want an electric minivan, Haley pointed out that it is a “price leader” and attracts younger buyers.
The company has already lowered prices to compete, but without an established brand, the road ahead could be even more challenging.
A $20,000 electric car would be the perfect addition to VinFast’s US portfolio. The brand can establish itself in a segment poised to continue growing.
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