Vietnam"s Vinfast preps Italian-designed crossover, sedan

Vietnamese automaker Vinfast will use the Paris auto show to raise its global profile by unveiling Italian-designed first production cars.

Vinfast said it will debut a production-ready crossover and production-ready sedan at the Paris auto show in October.

The crossover is similar in size to the BMW X5 crossover, while the sedan is the same length as cars such as the Audi A6, the company said. Both cars have been designed by Italy"s Pininfarina and will use German technology, Vinfast said without elaborating.

VinFast is part of Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup and is led by James DeLuca, former vice president of manufacturing for General Motors. "We have the resources, scalability and commitment to become a significant new player in the global automotive industry," DeLuca said in a statement.

In June VinFast signed a deal with GM to take over the U.S. automaker"s factory in Hanoi, along with its dealer network and employee base.

The plant will be used solely to produce VinFast cars after the transfer, while Chevrolet cars will be imported. The company is also building a plant in Hai Phong, northern Vietnam, at a cost of $1.5 billion.

Magna International is carrying out the technical development and vehicle engineering for Vinfast"s SUV and sedan They will be powered by gasoline engines developed by Austrian powertrain company AVL.

After the crossover and sedan, the company plans to launch two minicars, one electric and one gasoline. Both have been designed by Italdesign after the Italian firm won a competition judged by the Vietnamese public.

The Vinfast sedan is the same length as cars such as the Audi A6, the company said.

New car sales in Vietnam were 272,750 in 2017, data from the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers" Association (VAMA) showed. The country is one of the few in South East Asia not dominated by Toyota. In the first five months the best-selling brand was Kia with a 26 percent share, followed by Toyota, Mazda, Honda and Ford, data from sales data aggregator Bestsellingcarsblog.com showed.

VinFast plans to launch the sedan and crossover in the third quarter of 2019. The company is targeting annual production of 500,000 vehicles by 2025 after an initial output of between 100,000 and 200,000. It also plans to export to foreign markets.

Nguồn: www.autonews.com