VinFast plans to conquer Australian market

11:20 | 28/02/2020
Vietnamese car-maker VinFast has just established a technical arm in Melbourne in preparation for dipping a toe in the Australian market and is eyeing two GM operations on the continent.
vinfast plans to conquer australian market
VinFast plans to conquer the Australian market. Source: motoring.com.au

VinFast, in addition to having an eye on Holden, the legendary car brand that is about to close down in Australia, also expressed interest in acquiring the design and engineering facilities of General Motors (GM) Australia, including the Lang Lang testing system which is in the same situation as Holden.

Holden is currently owned by GM US which plans to shut it down at the end of this year.

In an exclusive interview with carsales.com.au, Jim DeLuca, CEO of Vingroup, shared that, “We currently work with business partners to do vehicle styling and validation. We are interested in any type of vertical integration that makes us more efficient and the business more cost-effective.”

In contrast to the highlight launching in 2018 with football superstar David Beckham at the Paris Motor Show, VinFast this time quietly entered Melbourne to establish VinFast Engineering Australia.

vinfast plans to conquer australian market
Football legend David Beckham at the launch of VinFast's first two models at the Paris Motor Show 2018

“Australia is a developed automobile market which has available suppliers and skills that VinFast wants to tap into,” DeLuca said in response to emailed questions. “VinFast Engineering Australia will be responsible for product development for some of our future car models.”

On Australian VinFast sales, DeLuca offered, “Stay tuned! Our vision is to become a global automobile company and brand” to motoring.com.au.

Recently, VinFast has hired a group of Australian automotive managers, including global vice-president manufacturing and engineering Shaun Calvert, who worked for Holden and GM in 2001-2017. In addition, VinFast Engineering Australia has also enlisted other senior personnel such as Kevin Yardley, who spent 25 years working for Holden and GM, and Joe Sawyer, chief of Holden's transmission and chassis department with 23 years of experience.

“We have many Australian colleagues in our plant in Vietnam who have joined us right at the beginning of the project,” said DeLuca. “They have been a critical part of our family and contributing to the success of our company.”

VinFast made a strong impression on the world at the 2018 grand launching event at the Paris Motor Show 2018. The two cars introduced at the show were both based on BMW design and powertrain. Both are powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and an 8-speed automatic transmission. Currently, both two models have been launched to the market.

VinFast is also showing ambitions to enter the US market next year, according to motoring.com.au.

By Tan Duong

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