Malaysians who don’t follow auto industry developments are probably not aware that Vietnam has a home-grown automobile brand known as VinFast. The company made its international debut at the Paris Motor Show in 2018 with the aim of developing and selling globally competitive cars with a Vietnamese identity. It is part of Vietnam’s largest business conglomerate, Vingroup, which has businesses in the technology, service and industry sectors.
Vinfast has already begun producing the Lux SA2.0 SUV and the Lux A2.0 Sedan, as well as the Fadil, a compact city car. Since March this year, over 155 units of the Lux models have been sent to 14 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa as well as Australia for real-world testing. Magna Steyr’s Graz testing centre in Austria and Bosch’s Austria plant are also carrying out testing for Vinfast.
Maximum rating for Lux models
With safety being a top priority, Vinfast is also submitting its cars for New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) testing which includes crash testing. In the ASEAN region, ASEAN NCAP is an internationally recognised NCAP organisation and following its full range of tests and analysis, it gave the maximum 5-star rating to the two Lux models while the Fadil city car received a 4-star rating.
In the crash tests, conducted last month, the Lux SA2 scored 46.45 out of 50 points for Adult Occupant Protection and 22.73 out of 25 points for Child Occupant Protection. The Lux A2.0 scored 46.89 out of 50 for Adult Occupant Protection, and 21.81 out of 25 points for Child Occupant Protection.
“VinFast is committed to bringing world-class automotive products to local and international consumers,” said Tran Le Phuong, Deputy General-Director of Vinfast. “The ASEAN NCAP results validate VinFast’s commitment to always putting quality first as we continue to create automotive products that are innovative, affordable and safe.”
Meeting demand from growing middle class
Vinfast aims to address the growing demand for high-quality and affordable cars among Vietnam’s growing middle class. Vietnam’s Industrial Policy and Strategy Institute (IPSI) projects that domestic car sales will grow 22% annually from 2019 to 2025—a significant development for a market that has a current 4-5% car ownership rate. The company is projecting production of 500,000 units per year by 2025.
To gain additional exposure, Vinfast will be the title sponsor of the first-ever Formula 1 event in Vietnam next year. The F1 race will be held in Hanoi’s My Dinh sports complex. The 5.565-km track has been designed by Hermann Tilke, who has also designed many other F1 tracks including the Sepang International Circuit.