Debuting at Paris and unveiled by David Beckham of all people, theres a new car company on the horizon, Vinfast. It sounds like a company that specialises in NFC technology. Or some drug to keep your Prince Albert standing to attention. But its not, it’s Vietnams first major car company, and they’re coming to Europe. So what do we know?
We walked around the venue in search of the Vinfast stand. We had been told that there was a new car company from Vietnam on its way and we we had fairly average expectations. But either way we were excited too see what was to come of it. Their stand was opposite Ferrari and was actually very nice. Simple and with only 2 cars there. We were then greeted by a Vietnamese lady in a silk robe (genuinely) who was very informative. I learnt two things by this. 1#, people who wear robes are knowledgeable about cars. And 2#, it’s the first Asian car company that’s not trying to present itself like the Germans do.
Model wise we have a crossover and a sedan. The ‘LUX A2.0’ [sedan] and the ‘LUX SA2.0’ [crossover]. Not the most exciting names, but that’s where it gets interesting. Both cars were designed by Pininfarina. The turbocharged 2.0 4 cylinder, which was co-designed with BMW believe it or not; comes in 2 variants; a 175bhp and a 227bhp. With 300nm and 350nm of torque respectively. Theres GM boards members part of this new company too and Vinfast promise a “premium, calming interior with contemporary styling, authentic materials and a large customisable touch screen.” Sounds interesting. But what is the styling like? Well, pretty smart actually. There is definitely some form of mish-mash going on here. Styling from BMW, Volvo and Mazda all rolled into one here. And the interior? From what we could see, it’s heavily BMW influenced – a bit like the exterior. And from this $1.5B investment into the factory, we reckon BMW and GM could be at the financial helm here ( – pattern emerges). Engine, gearbox and interior styling? Could be possible. We think the car itself is a mash of Volvo, Mazda and BMW anyway. But we think it looks brilliant. It goes on sale in Vietnam in 2019 and will be coming to Europe by 2020 – which hopefully includes the UK.
What do we know about the company itself? It’s quite interesting. Its owned by Vingroup, who are Vietnams biggest private company. Despite only being around for two years, they’re pioneering in Vietnam’s car industry. They stride in improving the lives of the Vietnamese people and have a factory costing $1.5B through investment. Sounds like a good company ethos and we are excited to see them come along. Its not often an Asian car company comes along and woo’s us. But this one is an exception. To top it all off. We have 2 more models coming in the next few years. An electric hatchback based on a GM platform and a Bus!
By Clarke Mackinnon