VinFast To Open First Of 30 California Showrooms Next Week

Vietnam’s VinFast starts its assault on the U.S. market next week when it opens the first of many California showrooms.

The company has picked retail sites in Santa Monica, San Diego, San Mateo, Corte Madera, Commerce, and Berkeley for its first six dealerships, but plans to have 30 outlets in the state by the end of 2022, Auto News reports.

Although the first 18 months’ worth of production will be imported from Asia, VinFast’s American model range will eventually be built within the U.S. The company, which has its U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles, is building a $2 billion factory in North Carolina that’s expected to start pumping out vehicles by mid-2024.

VinFast’s U.S. lineup consists of two EVs, a five-seat VF 8 crossover priced from $40,700 to $48,000, and a three-row VF 9 SUV that will set you back between $55,000 and $61,000. Both cars are available in Eco or more luxurious Plus trim, and with two different battery sizes. The driving range figures stretch from 248-292 miles (400-470 km) for the VF 8 and 262-369 miles (422-594 km) for the VF9.

Related: VinFast Signs Agreement To Start Using Solid State Batteries In 2024s

VinFast’s sales model is slightly different from that of its established rivals because buyers pay for the car and then lease the battery for an additional cost. Although this is unusual in America, it has been employed before in Europe, notably with the Renault Zoë, the idea being that the basic price of the car is kept low, and the manufacturer shoulders the responsibility for the battery, which VinFast will replace if the useable capacity falls below 70 percent.

Low-mileage users can choose the Flexible plan costing $35 for the VF 8  and $44 for the VF 9 that grants them 310 miles (500 km) of free travel, then incurs a $0.11 per mile (VF 8) or $0.15 per mile (VF 9) charge for subsequent miles. If that sounds too limiting you can move to a Fixed plan that costs $110 and $160 for the VF 8 and VF9 and have no mileage limits.

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