Vietnam EV maker VinFast files for US IPO

April 9, 2022 0 Comments

Vietnamese automaker VinFast said on Thursday its Singapore-based holding company had filed for an IPO with US securities regulators.

The IPO was planned for the second half of this year as one option to fund a plant planned in North Carolina and US expansion, said Le Thi Thu Thuy, CEO of the company, without detailing the IPO size and price range.

Founded in 2017 by Vietnam’s biggest conglomerate Vingroup, VinFast is the country’s first fully fledged domestic car manufacturer. In its home country, the company now offers an ecosystem of EV products, including e-scooters, electric buses, electric automobiles, charging station systems, and green energy solutions.

At the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Vietnamese upstart unveiled two new electric SUVs, the VF e35 and VF e36, and said those models are expected to become available for pre-order in the US in the first half of 2022. 

Although rooted in a Southeast Asian country, VinFast aspires to grow across international markets. In July 2021, it has started operations in North America and Europe, where the electric vehicle (EV) market is relatively mature and competitive. 

To better reach American customers, the company set up its US headquarters in Los Angeles last November. Attracted by the US’s EV-friendly policies and a strong consumer market, the Vietnamese startup announced plans to build a $2 billion factory in North Carolina to make electric buses, sport utility vehicles and batteries for EVs.

The first phase of the plant will start construction in 2022, with an estimated annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles.

Reuters report said that Vinfast was considering an IPO a year ago that could value the company at about $60 billion. But that valuation looks overpriced at the moment, with stocks has seen a sharp correction due to the impact of tighter monetary policy. In comparison, the market capitalization of Chinese electric car maker NIO, which sells 91,429 units a year, has fallen from more than $100 billion at its peak to around $33 billion now.

VinFast, which is also planning to build a factory in Germany, aims to sell 42,000 EVs globally this year.

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