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Electric vehicle maker VinFast officially arrives in PH

Customer cars are expected to come by the 3rd quarter

There's a new automaker in town, and it's from Vietnam. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Vietnamese electric vehicle maker VinFast has officially arrived in the Philippines. During a media launch at SM Mall of Asia, the firm presented its initial lineup of vehicles and shared some of its ambitions.

We first wrote about VinFast back in 2018, a mere year after the company had been established. Since then, it has gone on a journey of global expansion and now found its way to the Philippines.

Here, a network of four initial dealersthree in Metro Manila and one in Iloilo Citywill start selling vehicles from the end of June, with the initial four-wheel lineup consisting of the VF 5, the VF e34, the VF 7, and the VF 9.

The automaker is studying if the Philippines would be a perfect fit for its two-wheeled products. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

The first customer cars are expected to reach their proud new owners in the third quarter of this year, but we sadly do not yet know how much VinFast is asking for any of these cars. Or the bikes for that matter, as the company is also big in the two-wheel market.

VinFast VF 5. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

No prices have been revealed, and we were told they would follow soon.

During the launch, the initial impression was that the full lineup of electric scooters as well as the electric pedal-assist bike of the brand would be available here soon, but the press release actually says that the company is “researching the potential” for those vehicles at the moment.

VinFast VF 3. PHOTOS FROM VINFAST

Pretty much the same was said about the VF 3 mini e-SUV, which VinFast is currently thinking about bringing here.

Especially cheaper models might be a winner in this evermore competitive market, so we hope to see a VF 3 here in the metal soon. For now, we got the opportunity to have a brief look at the various models on the day, and first impressions are that the newcomer to our shores is trying to impress with feature-laden EVs that will hopefully come in at attractive price points.

VinFast VF e34. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

On that front, VinFast will offer two different ways to purchase their electric cars: with and without battery. Obviously, with battery is the standard way of purchasing the cars.

Now, without battery means the car still has a battery, but you’re leasing the built-in powerpack instead of buying it outright with the car. This can bring the initial purchase price down considerably, and might give the firm an edge in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

VinFast VF 7. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

Customers who choose this battery subscription model can also get a new battery fitted free of charge if the old one ever goes below 70% capacity.

All buyers get to benefit from warranties ranging between seven and 10 years, and what the company calls its “market-leading after-sales policy.”

For now, all we can do is wait until the first showrooms open and we get an opportunity to try the cars a little longer than just a few minutes in a mall car park. VinFast sure is trying to make the right noises, and may present an affordable alternative for anyone who likes the idea of an EV but doesn’t want to buy a Chinese one.

VinFast VF 9. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

The way our comment section blows up every time we talk about Chinese carmakers indicates that there might be quite a few of you out there.

As for the name: You might think it stands for Vietnamand Fast,which would make sense and be an easy conclusion. But actually, VinFast is an abbreviation of Vietnamese words. It stands for Vietnam, Style, Safety, Creativity, and Pioneer.

They might not be the first to market anymore, but some pioneering spirit might help them to succeed around here. And some more competition might help consumers get a better deal. Now, what’s not to like about that?



Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.



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