You probably haven’t heard of VinFast, the local Vietnamese automaker. But VinFast aims to get its name out there, by producing a succession of new models, beginning with a $17,000 hatchback debuting this month.
VinFast is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Vingroup, one of the largest private enterprises in Vietnam. Up to now, this southeast-Asian country of nearly 100 million citizens has relied on foreign manufacturers to supply its burgeoning consumer base with new vehicles. The automaker launched in 2017, relying on homegrown and foreign talent to shape the company. They’ve also partnered with some of the most influential names in the business to develop its own models, including BMW, Pininfarina, General Motors, and Magna Steyr.
Now Launching: VinFast Fidal
The VinFast Fidal has the distinction of launching this company’s production aspirations, a subcompact hatchback retailing from $16,900. The company claims 10,000 early orders for the hatchback and plans to make upwards of 250,000 vehicles during its initial stage of operation.
By 2025, the automaker expects to double production capacity. In about a year, we’ll see the first exports shipped abroad. The U.S. market, however, is not included, although that may change.
A quick examination of the VinFast product line reveals that the vehicles aren’t fully built in Vietnam. For example, the hatchback’s chassis comes from Opel’s Karl Rocks’ model. Opel was recently owned by GM and is now a PSA Groupe subsidiary. As for the upcoming sedans and utility vehicle, both are based on BMW frames. The vehicles were designed by Pininfarina, the Italian design studio.
VinFast boasts 32 dealerships and showrooms nationwide, as of this writing. At the beginning of the month, the company started offering test drive opportunities for shoppers. Those who participated in the initial test drive program will also have an opportunity to receive a car in a handover ceremony on June 17.
“With the delivery of VinFast Fadil on schedule with customers, and the opening of a car factory only 21 months after the commencement, we have completed a huge amount of normal work. Other manufacturers take 36 to 60 months. The test drive program at dealers is organized before customers officially receive the car is the affirmation of our commitment to do everything to bring the best satisfaction and experience for Vietnamese consumers, ” said Mr. James Deluca – General Director of VinFast.
Fidal Overview: Specs and Key Features
The VinFast Fidal has a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine with an output of 98 horsepower and 128 foot-pounds of torque. A continuously variable transmission sends power to the front wheels.
The Fadil is available in six colors and has an adjustable steering column, 7-inch touchscreen, and a six-speaker audio system. All models come with aluminum wheels, six airbags, a parking assist system, stability control, and a rear vision camera.
Two Additional Models Planned
VinFast will follow up with two additional models — the Lux A2.0 sedan and the Lux SA2.0 SUV. Both vehicles will ride on a rear-wheel-drive platform powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 228 horsepower and 350 foot-pounds of torque. A ZF 8-speed automatic transmission sends power to the wheels. Both models were showcased at the most recent Paris Motor Show.
VinFast’s success is not assured, despite its homegrown appeal. Indeed, the Vietnamese consumer has shown its preference for foreign brands, most notably for their “high-quality products,” reports Bloomberg. Nevertheless, the company has invested the equivalent of US$3.5 billion to ensure VinFast products have what it takes to meet the country’s growing demand for passenger vehicles.
Photos copyright VinFast.