HAI PHONG, Vietnam – Vietnamese EV maker VinFast said on Friday it had shipped its first batch of 999 cars to the United States, capping a five-year bid to develop an auto production hub in the Southeast Asian country for North American and European markets.
The first cars are expected to be handed over to customers by the end of December, the company said.
VinFast CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy said some of the VF 8 electric crossovers being shipped Friday would be sent to U.S. car subscription service Autonomy but the majority would go to retail buyers who have ordered the car.
Thuy said VinFast expected to be able to ship a second batch of cars to the U.S., its first export market, around January.
VinFast is in the process of building an EV plant in North Carolina that is awaiting final regulatory approval from local officials.
Thuy said the company expected to start production at the North Carolina factory in July, 2024 and that electric vehicles built there would qualify for incentives under the terms of the U.S.'s Inflation Reduction Act.