Vietnamese automaker VinFast is facing consumer skepticism after launching its first electric vehicle in the U.S. earlier this year. Experian data shows the EV maker with just 128 new-vehicle registrations for its VF 8 crossover from January to May.
VinFast is selling the two-row VF 8 in California, the biggest EV market in the country, before expanding to other states. It has cut prices and offered lease deals to move two shiploads of VF 8s that have arrived from Vietnam.
But the newcomer faces big challenges.
The brand is largely unknown in the U.S., the VF 8 is priced above similar vehicles from Ford, Volkswagen and Hyundai, and Model Y price cuts make the Tesla crossover a more competitive deal, analysts say.
The base VF 8 starts at $47,200 with shipping and doesn't qualify for the federal tax incentive of up to $7,500. The Tesla Model Y starts at $51,380 and does qualify because it's built in North America.