The motoring world would be an interesting place if every country had its own indigenous automobile brand. That's always been the dream, especially for a country like ours that has a strong affinity for the motor vehicle.
That dream, however, looks like it's about to happen for one of our neighbors in South East Asia: Vietnam.
VinFast, a new Vietnamese automobile company, had formally announced that they will be launching two models: the first being a 4-door saloon, and the other being a 5-door SUV. Moreover, they intend to do it at one of the world's biggest shows: the Paris Motor Show in October.
But the ambition does not end there, as the company also aims to launch even more models in 2019, leveraging a new partnership with General Motors to achieve it.
“Our vision is to build an automobile manufacturing eco-system that will include assembly plants, local automotive suppliers and dealers, and a string of supporting industries,” said James DeLuca, VinFast's CEO. “Our plan is to launch a portfolio of five VinFast vehicles in 2019 and this strategic partnership is integral to that.”
The partnership that VinFast has is with General Motors, as tehy will actually be the distributor for Chevrolet in the country. The partnership also states that they will assume ownership of the GM factory in Hanoi, Vietnam, and that VinFast will license a small car from GM with the aim of marketing the model internationally.
The company says they will build their models at a new 335-hectare plant in Hai Phong in northern Vietnam. The factory had its groundbreaking in September of last year.
“We have the resources, scalability and commitment to become a significant new player in the global automotive industry,” said DeLuca in a press release. “We are immensely proud to be the first volume automotive manufacturer in Vietnam, and the first to participate in a major international motor show.”
The roster of executives of VinFast have plenty of experience in the auto industry, particularly with General Motors. It comes as no surprise as their CEO, James DeLuca, is a veteran of General Motors, previously holding the post of President of Global Manuacturing Operations.
VinFast says their two new models at the Paris Motor Show will also have German technology, though details are still scarce.
The Vingroup is the parent company of VinFast, and is one of the country's largest privately-held businesses. The parent corporation actually deals in real estate and construction, though they have interests in education, healthcare, agriculture, tourism and retail.