Vinfast adds US dealer franchises, as EV deliveries lag targets

Vinfast on Tuesday announced the signing of 12 more U.S. dealerships, but a recent report suggests the EV firm may be falling behind on sales targets.

The first of the new dealerships is expected to open later this month, according to a Vinfast press release. The additions will give the company 18 franchised dealerships in seven states—North Carolina, New York, Texas, Florida, Kansas, Connecticut, and Kentucky—since the start of a pivot to a dealer model last year. That’s on top of 15 company-owned stores and service centers in California—the nation’s largest EV market.

2023 Vinfast VF 8

Vinfast’s first product for the U.S. is the VF 8 electric SUV. A preview drive in 2022 showed us that the VF 8 had a long way to go, and an official first drive of the VF 8 last year led us to warn that it simply doesn’t feel ready yet.

A follow-up, the three-row Vinfast VF 9 SUV, has been officially rated with a 330-mile EPA range, but deliveries haven’t yet started. Both the VF 8 and VF 9 arrive to crowded fields of crossover alternatives. At CES 2024, Vinfast revealed a new pickup concept and showed its unique VF 3 mini-SUV—both of which might be more likely to find inroads in the U.S. market. 

Vinfast VF 9

Meanwhile construction is reportedly paused at Vinfast’s factory in North Carolina, with it reportedly seeking a smaller footprint, according to local newspaper The News & Observer. A recent Axios report suggested that Vinfast is simply having trouble selling its vehicles all around the world.

Vinfast hopes to deliver 100,000 vehicles globally this year, but delivered just 9,869 in the first quarter, according to Axios. Vinfast has shipped just 3,118 vehicles to the U.S., and only 265 of those had sold as of December, the report said, citing registration data. Yet Vinfast told shareholders it plans to complete the North Carolina factory in 2025, with an annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles.