Fulfilling a promise made last year, VinFast has now delivered the first units of the all-electric VF9s SUV to 27 customers in Hanoi, Ho Chi Min, and Da Nang cities. Ceremonies were held at malls and showrooms for the turnover, led by VinFast executives in the cities mentioned.
“Today’s VF9 delivery event is the beginning of VinFast’s series of events that will be consistently held on a global basis … I am confident that VinFast’s high-quality electric vehicles will meet the needs of our customers,” Madam Le Thi Thu Thuy, Vice Chairwoman of Vingroup and CEO of VinFast Holdings, said in a press statement.
In September 2022, CleanTechnica attended the VinGroup Media Tour in Vietnam where we sat down with Madam Thuy and asked her about the production and delivery timing of its vehicles in Vietnam and globally. We also asked why the strategy was to focus on markets like North America and Europe and not be more vigorous in selling in Vietnam.
Commitments, not country bias
At that time, she clearly said that following the then ongoing production of the VF8 and scheduled delivery by December 2022, the VF9 was already ready to go online and it would be released “in the first quarter of 2023.” She also said that delivery would be first to its Vietnamese customers, but at the same time a batch of cars for export was in the works. There was no timing for the release of the VF9s to the US, Canada, and Europe, but delivery was going to be “next year” (2023).
Thuy explained that in the company’s production and delivery calendar, the strategy was clearly based on commitments, rather than preference or priority. Vinfast EVs is a growing brand in Vietnam, which is inundated by Japanese and Korean brands. Last year the company sold 36,000 cars in Vietnam, putting it in a solid fourth place behind Hyundai, Toyota, and Kia. Of that number, over 2,000 are electric cars. The company also already declared that it has stopped production of gasoline-powered vehicles. In the US market, it already closed and committed delivery of over 5,000 units, and 999 of those were already delivered.
Two versions of the VF9
The first batch of VF9s has a more spacious 6-seat configuration, rather than the 7-seater design presented during the press launch. This updated design has two captain seats in the second row — with more seating and facing combinations, akin to a business-class cabin. The specifications mention a large armrest to bring a classy, comfortable feel — aside from other interior amenities that provide a “technologically-advanced experience to all passengers.”
The high-end VF9 Plus offers a panoramic glass roof, integrated massage function with heated and ventilated front seats, 15.6-inch central infotainment screen, 8-inch infotainment screen for the second row, windshield HUD, auto-dimming outside rearview mirrors, and many other premium options, including level 2 ADAS and Smart Services.
Its power peaks at 300 kW (402 hp), and torque maxes out at 620 Nm. The 92 kWh battery pack has a range of up to 438 km (272 miles) for the Eco version and 423 km (263 miles) for the Plus version on a full charge (WLTP estimate).
VinFast will continuously to deliver to other individual customers nationwide in accord with their reservation number. Customers can also choose to receive their vehicles at a VinFast showroom or at their home. More EV test drives are planned in dealers and showrooms in Vietnam “to allow customers the opportunity to experience the VF8 and VF9 all-electric vehicles.”
The VF9 is indeed intended for the export market — as well as the Vietnamese market. Its size and specifications are said to have been originally designed for the US market because of its spaciousness, ride height, and power. The VinFast chief said that the VF9 will soon find its way to the US. The 7-seat version is intended for the export market, but the 6-seater Eco and Plus will also be part of the mix.
On the matter of the commitments VinFast has to US customers, where some 5,000 reservations need to be filled, the VinFast chairwoman said the cars are on their way.
“We expect to export the VF8 standard edition models to the U.S. and Canadian markets in April 2023.… Following that, we expect to export the VF9 and open reservation for the VF6 and VF7 in the coming months,” Thuy said.
She also revealed that very soon, the more compact VF5 Plus EV will be introduced in Vietnam, where customers are assured of an infrastructure of 150,000 charging ports for electric vehicles and e-scooters, services offered by a system of 89 showrooms, as well as dealers and service centers across 63 provinces and cities in Vietnam.
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Source: Clean Technica