Vinfast on Monday confirmed plans to begin U.S. deliveries March 1, as a report indicated the automaker is planning to lower lease prices.
Vinfast had reported the first batch of 999 U.S.-bound VF 8 electric SUVs shipped out in late November, following the delivery of 100 vehicles to customers in its home country of Vietnam in September. The company confirmed in a press release that these vehicles arrived in December 2022, when Vinfast had originally planned to start U.S. deliveries, but they have sat at the port since then, reportedly awaiting software updates.
The company now plans to stage events for the first customer deliveries at its California retail stores March 1, with additional deliveries following after that. Following the start of U.S. deliveries, the company plans to begin delivering vehicles in Canada, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, although no specific timeline was given for this.
Vinfast is also cutting the lease price for the VF 8 by more than half for some customers, Reuters reported. The company in January had said the VF 8 would be available to lease at $599 a month for 24 months, but Reuters noted that as of Monday the Vinfast website listed the lease rate as $399 a month for 24 months, and reported that Vinfast was telling early California customers that they would pay $274 per month.
This reported drop in lease prices comes after Vinfast advertised—and then abandoned—a mandatory battery leasing plan for the VF 8 and the VF 9, a larger three-row SUV scheduled to follow the VF 8 to the U.S.
As not from a preview drive last year, Vinfast still needs to show progress in cabin refinement and the fine-tuning of drive details. Yet Vinfast is pushing ahead with more product launches, including not only the follow-up VF 9, but also smaller VF 6 and VF 7 models. Vinfast has said reservations for the pair will open in March, but hasn’t discussed pricing or a delivery timeline.
Eleven months ago, Vinfast also announced plans to build EVs in North Carolina starting in 2024. At the time, the company said it would spend $2 billion on a new factory to manufacture VF 8 and VF 9 EVs. It subsequently received a $1.2 billion incentive package from the state government for the factory, which Vinfast has said will be able to build 150,000 vehicles per year at full capacity.
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