Introducing VinFast, Vietnam’s First Consumer Cars

Vietnam is set to debut VinFast, the country’s first consumer car manufacturer featuring two new entrants at the upcoming The 2018 Paris Motor Show. While several manufacturers have bailed out on the show for cost or personal gatherings reasons, the Vietnam-based VinFast brand is expected to raise quite a few eyebrows.

If you’ve Googled VinFast because you’ve never heard of them – don’t worry; you’re not alone. The company is based in Vietnam and is launching two new models at the Paris Motor Show. Their sedan and SUV will act as the first production vehicles offered to public consumers to come from the Vietnam. Sharp automotive consumers will notice a little familiarity in the design of these vehicles – as they are based on outgoing BMW’s.

The BMW F10 5 Series and F15 X5 have done quite well internationally but have been phased out due to expansion in the market to more efficient models. A partnership with BMW has permitted VinFast to stuff a modified variant of the 2.0-liter turbocharged N20 four-cylinder from BWM that will be offered in front-wheel and all-wheel drive trains. Both the sedan and SUV will be offered to consumers with 175-horsepower or 227-horsepower versions – paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

While the VinFast cars are built on outdated BMW platforms, the exterior features are more updated and modern. Although we’d love to give credit solely to VinFast designers, truth be told, these cars were styled by Pininfarina – the famous Italian- design house. VinFast claims to have ‘future-proofed’ the vehicles (which might be a phrase lost in translation, so we’ll wait on the official debut for clarification). However, many experts believe they are referring to an advanced pedestrian protection system integrated into the vehicle’s software.

Expert automotive enthusiasts will obviously ask about the validity of VinFast’s claim to be Vietnam’s first consumer cars offered – especially since GM’s Daewoo built many of their production vehicles in Hanoi. Well, Daewoo was a South Korean owned company – while VinFast is owned, built, and will be marketed exclusively in Vietnam. Interesting enough, VinFast sedans and SUV’s will be built in the same factory as the previous Daewoo’s were built in Hanoi.