In a resounding testament to the escalating worldwide fascination with electric vehicles (EVs), VinFast, a relatively recent entrant into the electric automobile arena hailing from Vietnam, has achieved an astronomical valuation of $85 billion. This valuation surge places it ahead of established giants like Ford and General Motors, with market capitalizations of $48 billion and $46 billion, respectively.
The recent New York debut of VinFast’s shares on August 14 saw a remarkable performance, finishing above $37 and marking a colossal 270 percent surge on the Nasdaq. The initial trading price of $22 was more than double the IPO price of $10.
Founded in 2017, VinFast has directed its efforts toward the development of accessible all-electric vehicles. The company boasts an impressive portfolio including electric SUVs, e-scooters, and e-buses, distributed across Vietnam, the United States, and soon, Europe. Madame Thuy Le, Global CEO of VinFast Auto Ltd, underscored the significance of the successful listing, stating, “Today’s successful listing not only supports VinFast’s commitment to sustainable mobility at a global scale but also unlocks access to the capital markets and important avenues for future development.”
While VinFast’s astounding valuation has drawn attention, a notable aspect lies in its founder Pham Nhat Vuong’s ownership of 99 percent of the outstanding shares through Vingroup JSC, Vietnam’s largest conglomerate. This concentration of ownership could have contributed to the substantial price fluctuations on the day of trading, with approximately $185 million worth of shares traded on August 14.
The buoyant interest of global investors in the EV sector has undoubtedly contributed to VinFast’s success, further bolstered by the company’s vision of forging a sustainable future through electric mobility. VinFast’s ambitions extend to a new facility in North Carolina, expected to serve as a central hub for US sales, capable of handling up to 150,000 vehicles annually, requiring an investment exceeding $2 billion.
Nevertheless, challenges loom on the horizon for VinFast. Despite its soaring valuation, the company has struggled to achieve its sales targets, delivering only 11,300 EVs in the first half of 2023 and selling a mere 128 vehicles in the US after five months on the market. In contrast, Tesla delivered almost 889,000 vehicles during the same period.
As for financial performance, VinFast reported a substantial loss of $2.1 billion in 2022 and continued to face losses, recording $598 million by the end of the first quarter, compared to $411 million in the same period the previous year.
To fortify its standing in the global EV landscape, VinFast is actively seeking to establish new partnerships with distributors and dealers in strategic markets, spanning North America, Europe, Vietnam, and Southeast Asia. While the path ahead might be challenging, VinFast’s swift rise serves as an embodiment of the electric vehicle industry’s dynamic and rapidly evolving nature.