How an unknown Vietnamese automaker is trying to beat Tesla to the US
An unknown automaker, VinFast, which was founded a few years ago in Vietnam, is coming to the United States hoping to take on giants like Tesla.
Its founder, Pham Nhat Vuong, made his fortune in dried ramen noodles and has since become Vietnam’s richest person and owner of Vingroup, the country’s largest conglomerate.
Vingroup, which made about $5.4 billion in sales in 2021, owns a range of businesses including shopping malls, golf courses, housing estates and educational institutions. It also made the first locally produced smartphone in Vietnam.
Pham has recently turned to vehicles, which provide a country with benefits that can go beyond the balance sheet.
“Its goal is to economically elevate Vietnam to the world stage,” said Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting for AutoForecast Solutions. “Most countries that want to reach this level have a car manufacturer.”
Automakers can attract all kinds of related businesses, like a myriad of suppliers that can translate into lots of additional jobs and opportunities of all kinds, he added.
Although the company faces many challenges, it is made up of people from well-known brands like BMW and it has supply partnerships with names like ZF, Gotion and Pininfarina.
He just needs to get Americans to consider his cars.