Vietnamese electric vehicle company VinFast has lost three of its sales executives, marking another potential setback for the EV startup that’s trying to ramp up deliveries to the United States – its first overseas market.
The news comes from VinFast itself, which said for Reuters that its deputy chief executive for global sales and marketing, chief marketing officer, and chief service officer have left the company this week. The Vietnamese EV maker added that the former sales executive had left “due to personal reasons and we respect his decision.” At the same time, the two other US-based executives had left because of “changes in the management model and specific business requirements.”
VinFast, which was founded in 2017, previously cut around 80 jobs from its North American venture, including its chief financial officer in the US. Moreover, the company has had three CEOs since its founding six years ago and its EV product development chief resigned in December 2022, before VinFast delivered any vehicles to customers in the US.
Gallery: VinFast VF 8 and VF 9 electric SUVs
The Vietnamese EV startup eventually delivered the first 45 units of its VF 8 crossovers in California at the beginning of March, after several delays. VinFast previously shipped 999 cars to the US and said on a separate occasion that the second batch of deliveries will be made in the second quarter of 2023.
The Vingroup-owned carmaker also wants to build a $4 billion electric vehicle and batteries factory in Chatham County, North Carolina. The first phase of construction was supposed to begin in 2022, but Vinfast recently announced that it needs more time “to complete administrative procedures,” and that the factory will be operational in 2025 (the initial date said July 2024).
The Vietnamese carmaker launched two all-electric crossovers in North America last year – the VF 8 five-seater crossover and the VF 9 three-row SUV. Both offer all-wheel drive and a 10-year warranty that includes the high-voltage battery, with prices starting at $59,000 for the smaller VF 8 and $83,000 for the bigger VF 9 respectively. Until now, however, only VF 8 vehicles have been delivered to US buyers.
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Source: VinFast via Reuters