Vietnam’s only car manufacture, Vinfast, is currently seeking major new investment totaling $1BN. Through the company’s parent organisation, Vingroup, talks are being held with potential investors including Blackrock and Qatar’s sovereign investment fund. Vinfast is seeking to enter the lucrative U.S. market where it has big plansto take on Tesla and General Motors. But that’s easier said than done. Undeterred, Vinfast’s strategy is to bet its future on EVs and battery technology. Overall they anticipate that an EV and battery business plan will lure investors with deep pockets. There is even talk of listing on the U.S. stock market.
If it all seems too fast too soon, then it is. But is Vinfast ergo Vingroup being overly optimistic or clanging the cowbells of hype? It is a mixture of both, an established business with growth potential hailing from the far east is a dream investment for giant Western private equity funds. But have they all forgotten about the dream that was the East Asian Tiger Economy of the 2000s and 2010s? No, they have not.
In other words, it was a period monumental boom followed by a considerable bust. Nevertheless, Vingroup is said to be in advanced talks with the Qatar Investment Authority. QIA has a $300BN sovereign wealth fund and is seeking to diversify its investment portfolio away from lucrative U.S. and European markets.
Only time will tell if the media hype is as good as Vinfast’s growth plans, but it just seems to be too good to be true. Vinfast first has to make cars that sell in the U.S. and Europe, they have to prove themselves. The company is scheduled to begin production of two electric crossover SUVs in 2024.