Meet Vietnam’s First Unicorn Electric Car Startup To List On Nasdaq

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Valued at over $85 billion and with expected annual revenues of over $1 billion, VinFast’s rise to prominence is a testament to Vietnam’s innovative approach to startups and dedication to delivering high-quality and low cost manufacturing of equipment. The unicorn startup listed on Nasdaq in August.

VinFast was founded by Pham Nhat Vuong, a Vietnamese billionaire and the founder of Vingroup, one of Vietnam’s largest private enterprises.

Born in 1968, in Hanoi, Vietnam, Pham Nhat Vuong earned his bachelor’s degree in international economics from Moscow State University of International Relations. After returning to Vietnam, he started his career in the early 1990s with a small instant noodle business. His entrepreneurial drive and strategic vision led him to expand into various industries, including real estate and retail.

Vingroup, has grown into one of the largest private enterprises in Vietnam. Under his leadership, the conglomerate has developed and invested in numerous projects, including the Vinhomes real estate development, Vincom retail chain, VinFast automotive manufacturing, and VinUni, a private university.

Last month, VinFast announced that it delivered 9,535 electric vehicles in 2Q23, more than five times the number of deliveries in 1Q23. VinFast delivered a total of 11,315 electric vehicles in the first half of 2023 globally.  VinFast owns a state-of-the-art automotive manufacturing complex with globally leading scalability that boasts up to 90% automation in Hai Phong, Vietnam.

Since its inception in 2017, VinFast has unveiled a series of ambitious expansion plans for its electric vehicle (EV) ventures overseas. Most recently, the loss-making automaker outlined its intentions to establish an assembly facility in Indonesia, an area known for its abundant supply of nickel, a key component for EV batteries. According to VinFast, this move is strategic, capitalizing on the favorable battery ecosystem in the country, supported by the Indonesian government’s openness and tax incentives.

Further demonstrating its global aspirations, VinFast is set to deliver the first batch of 3,000 VF8 vehicles to European customers this year. This development coincides with the European Union’s contemplation of tariffs on Chinese EV rivals.

According to VinFast’s spokesperson, Ms. Thuy, the company views its market differently from Chinese competitors, setting it apart in terms of strategy and approach.

Having commenced EV production in 2021, VinFast has set its sights on selling up to 50,000 units this year. Chief Financial Officer David Mansfield expressed optimism that sales would gain momentum in the final quarter.