Vietnam’s First Domestic Cars Will Be a Mix of Opel and BMW
Vietnam may not be a stranger to manufacturing cars but it has yet to have its own national car brand. Just two years after plans were first made known, VinFast, a subsidiary of the country’s largest conglomerate Vingroup, will begin delivery today of its Fadil hatchback.
However, some people might think that calling it a “Vietnamese” car would be stretch. The US$17,000 Fadil uses the chassis of the Opel Karl Rocks. Vinfast will also be debuting the Lux A2.0 sedan and Lux SA2.0 SUV in July, and these models are vastly different from the hatchback, having been designed by Pininfarina and based on BMW technology.
This is pretty much how the fledgeling carmaker was able to produce a new car so quickly—by enlisting the help and sourcing parts from established players in the industry. Nonetheless, the company claims it has already received orders for 10,000 vehicles and there are plans to sell electric vehicles by the year-end (which EV will they be rebadging now?).
The domestic car company has lofty goals, with plans to produce half a million vehicles per annum by 2025, and to begin exports from mid of next year. The country’s growing middle class, if they take to Vinfast’s cars, will help them achieve that.
The driving population currently favours Fords, Hondas and the nation’s favourite, Toyotas. The Hyundai i10 hatchback is one of the most popular cars on the road and priced from US$14,000, lower than the Fadil. But maybe Vinfast learned from the failed Tata Nano and didn’t want to make the mistake of producing just a cheap car, because even the middle class want nice things too.
And what else will make Vinfast cars something the Vietnamese can be proud off? Being able to say that your car was designed by the famed Italian car design firm, the same that designs for Alfa Romeo and Ferrari, must certainly allow you to puff your chest out a little bit further.