VinFast has announced its first shipment of 999 cars to the United States.
The Vietnamese automaker has made good on its promise to develop an auto production hub in the country for North American and European markets.
VinFast CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy reported some VF 8 electric crossovers will go to U.S. car subscription service, Autonomy. The rest will go to retail buyers who ordered the cars. Customers should receive their first vehicles by the end of December, the company said.
Thuy expects to ship more vehicles to the U.S. in January.
The automaker is building an EV plant in North Carolina, where it awaits final regulatory approval from local officials. The company will begin production at the North Carolina factory in July 2024, Thuy said.
All EVs built there will qualify for incentives under the terms of the U.S.'s Inflation Reduction Act, which requires 50% of an EV battery to be comprised of critical minerals from North America or U.S. allies by 2024. This will rise to 80% by the end of 2026.
VinFast reported Autonomy had ordered 2,500 EVs. The company also reports it has almost 65,000 orders globally and expects to sell 750,000 EVs annually by 2026.
The only wrinkle in VinFast’s plans is the North Carolina factory project running months behind schedule. Its first shipment of EVs also fell short of the initial goal of delivering up to 5,000 cars from the VinFast factory in Haiphong by December.
According to VinFast officials, however, the number 999 was chosen for the first shipment because it is considered a lucky number in Vietnam.
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