Vietnam fast approaching automobile manufacturing dream

May 15, 2018 | 18:01
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The dream is not so far because the progress is very fast and the owners of the Vietnamese car manufacturers are very successful, globally-famous billionaire businessmen.
vietnam fast approaching automobile manufacturing dream
The prime minister visiting the construction site of the Vinfast automobile manufacturing complex (Photo: VGP)

Breaking all the timelines

During the visit of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to the construction site of the Vinfast manufacturing complex on May 13, Vingroup chairman Pham Nhat Vuong said that the complex will be completed soon and will start manufacturing electric motorbikes this August. They expect to release the first vehicles in the third quarter of this year.

The next vehicles of Vinfast will be released in the second quarter of 2019. These will include two internal combustion engine automobile models (a five-seat sedan and a seven-seat SUV). Additionally, an electric car model and a small-sized internal-combustion-engine automobile model will be launched in late 2019. Vinfast will start to manufacture electric buses in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Breaking ground at its electric automobile and motorbike manufacturing complex in last September, VinFast has become somewhat of a phenomenon as they have consistently exceeded expectations.

Looking at Vinfast’s electric and petrol-fuelled hatchback automobile designs, automobile expert Hung Lam said: “This is an unbelievable speed, they have carried it out so fast. It took only six months since the ground-breaking ceremony of the plant to vote and announce the four designs. This electric automobile is very modern and good-looking.”

He said that foreign manufacturers need three years to plan, manufacture, and release a new model. This is the timeline for developed manufacturers with sufficient resources of labour, experience, technology, and funds.

However, Vinfast has made itself known by concepts made by famous designers Pininfarina, Ital Design, Torino Design, and One One Lab. These designs will become real automobiles within 16 months.

Moreover, Vinfast has collaborated with the leading technology brands worldwide, such as Siemens, Bosch, Magna Steyr, and BMW, and recruited a series of senior employees from international automobile manufacturers. They have purchased four factories.

"So far, Vinfast has signed with prestigious international partners to manufacture and launch high-quality and environmentally friendly vehicles," noted Pham Nhat Vuong.

All construction and development phases are breaking the timelines. Accordingly, Vinfast will need only two years to release their first Made in Vietnam automobiles.

vietnam fast approaching automobile manufacturing dream
The first Mazda automobiles produced at the Thaco Mazda plant

Reaching the dream of “Made in Vietnam” automobiles

Despite being a new manufacturer, Vinfast is developing with the fastest speed to achieve the target within the next year. At the same time, the over-20-year-old manufacturer Thaco also inaugurated the biggest and most modern automobile manufacturing factory in Southeast Asia last March to dominate the automobile industry.

The Thaco Mazda automobile manufacturing plant in Chu Lai in the central province of Quang Nam has been invested VND12 trillion ($0.53 billion) to manufacture and assemble Mazda-brand automobiles with the capacity of 100,000 vehicles annually.

The group will refurbish almost all of its automobile manufacturing and assembly plants, including the Kia, Mazda premium tourism cars, bus, and parts manufacturing plants to raise localisation rate above 40 per cent before exporting to the ASEAN region.

Domestic automobile manufacturers’ efforts to rise on the same stage as other ASEAN members like Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia are apparent, as they have set sights on the Southeast Asian market.

Notably, these dreams are becoming more and more believable as they are being carried out by the two successful Vietnamese billionaire businessmen Pham Nhat Vuong (chairman of Vingroup) and Tran Ba Duong (chairman of Thaco), who are on Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s richest people, with the total net worth of $4.3 billion and $1.8 billion, respectively.

At the ground-breaking ceremony of the Vinfast manufacturing complex, PM Phuc said: “Vinfast is the start of Vietnam’s national car brand.”

Vinfast and Thaco, along with others, are fast raising the Vietnamese automobile industry to become a Southeast Asian powerhouse.

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