Vietnam conglomerate Vingroup JSC, the communist-led country’s largest privately held conglomerate, announced Saturday it intends to list its car unit VinFast on the New York Stock Exchange in the second half of 2022.
The parent company expects the offering to raise at least $3 billion, giving VinFast an expected $60 billion valuation. In preparation for the IPO, Vingroup has set up a Singapore-based holding company that will hold a stake in VinFast. The news was first reported by Reuters.
In addition to its IPO, the company also said it was increasing its 2022 global sales goal to 42,000 units, up from a previously planned 15,000 units.
Big plans for the U.S. market
Last month, at the LA Auto Show, VinFast Global CEO Michael Lohscheller was on hand to reveal two new battery-electric crossover vehicles expected to go on sale in the Spring, with U.S. deliveries arriving by the end of 2022.
The first, the VF e35, is aimed at the D-Segment, while the VF e36 is aimed at the E-Segment. The two models were largely developed in-house using the now-common skateboard platform with batteries and motors mounted below the load floors.
While VinFast has yet to reveal much about the new models’ details, aside from saying it expects the pair to deliver a range of about 400 miles per charge using the global WLTP tests, or closer to 300 miles using the stricter EPA ratings.
Both models are equipped with a full-color head-up display and a 15.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Drivers can activate a “Zen Mode,” which removes most information from the video display.
While initial models will be shipped from Vietnam, Lohscheller confirmed in an exclusive interview with TheDetroitBureau the company plans to set up a U.S. assembly plant by 2024.
As with previous Asian automakers, VinFast will initially use a low price to consumers to introduce their network of factory-owned stores, with 60 expected in California. How many would open in other parts of the United States, and when, hasn’t been disclosed.
And a senior executive previously told TheDetroitBureau.com that as many as three more BEVs will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January.
How noodles bred an empire
It’s an aggressive marketing push for a world beset with semiconductor shortages, especially for an automaker less than five years old. But the company has made great strides quickly with the help of established partners such as BMW and Pininfarina.
Their first vehicles, the Lux A 2.0 sedan and Lux SA 2.0 SUV, debuted in Paris in 2019, a mere two years after the company’s founding. Based on BMW models, they were gas-powered, unlike the concept vehicles show in L.A.
Founded by Pham Nhat Vuong, who studied in Russia, the company started as a instant noodle business in the Ukraine in 1993. After selling it to Nestle’s for $150 million he headed home, parlaying what was already a handsome sum into the country’s biggest conglomerate.
The company moved to Vuong’s home country, Vietnam, in 2000. In 2013, Vingroup raised nearly $200 million from U.S. investment fund Warburg Pincus. The company is headquartered in Hanoi.
Vingroup, the automaker’s parent company, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. It covers a broad range of businesses, including education, healthcare and agriculture and last year had revenues of $3.8 billion.