VinFast is a Vietnamese Automaker We All Should Start Paying Attention To
Parts from BMW and styling from Pininfarina add up to an intriguing packageby Kirby, on
A newborn Vietnamese automaker is looking to make a name for itself in the auto industry using old parts from BMW. That’s the direction VinFast is taking as it prepares to present its first two creations at the 2018 Paris Motor Show next month. Both models are still unnamed, but a report from Autocar states that the two models, a sedan and an SUV, will use BMW platforms, among other parts from the German automaker. Likewise, the two models will feature designs that VinFast developed in collaboration with legendary Italian design house Pininfarina.
This is the first time we’ve heard of VinFast, and as far as first impressions go, the Vietnamese automaker has our attention. Granted, details about the company are still scarce, but VinFast is reportedly far along in the development phase of its first two models. That tells you that the company has been working on these cars for some time now, presumably with the blessing from BMW to use its parts in developing the vehicles. The platforms aren’t the only Bimmer-sourced items in the cars’ anatomy.
Both models will also use BMW’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines, albeit without the Valvetronic variable valve timing system.
The engines are mated to an eight-speed ZF transmission and are configured to produce two distinct power outputs: 175 horsepower and 227 horsepower.
On the design front, VinFast’s first two models carry stylistic touches from Pininfarina. The iconic Italian design house put its reputation to the test and created two vehicles that look modern and sophisticated. The sedan, for example, looks imposing with the long hood and squarish front profile. The front design is unique, thanks to a pair of thin headlamps, large intakes, and a unique front grille with chrome strips flanking what could be VinFast’s badge. The sedan also looks long, giving it a staunch and firm appearance. Meanwhile, the VinFast SUV comes with the same design treatment in a bigger package.
Also, like the sedan, the SUV looks daunting, an indication that Pininfarina left the cutesy coupe-SUV stylings on the table in favor of a more intimidating profile.
It works, too. The SUV looks like it’s about to take somebody’s lunch.
VinFast has yet to stick prices on the two models, but according to Autocar, the first wave of production is slated to start in March 2019, followed by full-scale production in September 2019. In the meantime, VinFast’s goal is to introduce itself to the world, beginning with the debut of its first two models at the 2018 Paris Motor Show next month. From there, the company is expected to build itself from within, adding established names to a management group that already boasts a lot of familiar faces in the industry, including David Lyon, Shaun Calvert, and Roy Flecknell, all of whom are alums of General Motors. In addition, VinFast is topping up on established contractors and suppliers, adding Bosch, Magna, and Siemens to help build its models and establish its brand.
All these moves are tied to the company’s long-term goal: build 500,000 vehicles — and one million e-scooters — per year by 2025.
Only time will tell if it can come close to its goals, but with the right people and the right backers in place, don’t be surprised if VinFast evolves into an automaker that we’re going to talk about a lot in the coming month and years.
Read more Paris Auto Show news.