After over several years of planning, with many of the negotiations happening mostly virtually right through the pandemic, VinFast, Vietnam’s home-brewed car company, finally opened the first 6 of a planned 36 dealerships in California. It is starting in California while exploring expansion throughout the US.
“The opening of the first six VinFast Stores in the US marks an important milestone in the company’s global journey, as we move toward bringing premium products and services to American consumers,” Le Thi Thu Thuy, Vingroup Vice Chairwoman and VinFast Global CEO commented in a press statement.
In an earlier interview with VinFast, CleanTechnica learned that the key to the brand’s global expansion is an acceptance of the company’s premium electric vehicles while allowing customers to directly experience the company’s high-end customer service. As of this moment, it has no plans of expanding to its neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. (For a closer look at VinFast, also see our recent piece from a visit to its Vietnamese headquarters.)
The uptake of EVs in the SEA region is slower compared to the rest of Asia. EV sales in China, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea form at least 7% to 12% of their total car industry sales, and that number is expected to double by 2025 and quadruple by 2030. In SEA, the high cost of EVs due to tax structures, thin government initiatives for sales and distribution, and a lack of charging infrastructure have affected EV sales. Many countries in the region are characterized by long-uninhabited, off-the-grid provincial roads which add to range anxiety. However, private initiatives like that of Nissan or Shell, wherein car dealerships or fueling stations have EV charging stations are beginning to change the landscape.
VinFast’s strategy to expand its network of locations in the US and eventually to the whole of North America follows an announcement early in June of 50 VinFast stores in Europe. Adding to that strategy are its brand-building efforts rooted on personalized relationships with customers. This is to ensure the yet-to-be-known automobile marque will bring with it desirable traits of convenience, peace of mind, and reliability throughout the process of purchasing and owning VinFast electric vehicles.
The first six US VinFast stores are located in prime locations across California. The simple opening ceremony took place at the Santa Monica Place store, one of the most modern, high-traffic shopping centers in the Los Angeles area.
VinFast dealers are designated as “1S, 2S, and 3S.” VinFast 1S vehicle display and selling outlets are located in high-visibility shopping centers. The 3S dealers, the largest of the store types, have full car and parts sales, and include servicing. The 2S stores are visibly located on major thoroughfares and offer both parts and service on a smaller scale, and support nearby 1S stores. Additionally, the 2S stores support neighborhoods without other store types, but have high concentrations of VinFast customers.
Designed to convey the “Future of Mobility” theme, VinFast Stores are created with a futuristic and minimalist design language and integrate interactive technology for a seamless “Online-to-Offline” experience. The spacious in-store ambience blends modern features in harmony with Eastern heritage and beauty inspired by nature that visually connects to VinFast’s goal of creating a sustainable future for everyone.
Here customers can explore the interior and exterior details of VinFast’s electric SUVs — the VF 8 and VF 9 — while experiencing the advanced technologies bundled as part of the Smart Driving package. Visitors can also learn more about the brand’s flexible and innovative sales plans and engage one on one with consultants on questions regarding both products and services.
“I believe that introducing VinFast and interacting with customers one-on-one in our corporate-owned and operated stores is the best way to build relationships with customers and to ensure quality service. We are proud to drive the global EV revolution towards a sustainable future. This future officially takes its next step today in California and will soon expand across the US and globally,” Le Thi Thu Thuy added.
VinFast is also promoting its “VinFast Charged-Up” program for customers who reserve a VF 8 or VF 9 by September 30, 2022. This program offers: a) 1-year free VinFast Smart Driving package; and b) 3-years of free, unlimited charging at Electrify America’s coast-to-coast charging network, or c) a Level 2 Home Charger with a $1,200 installation credit with VinFast’s installation partner.
List of VinFast Store Opening locations in California
- Santa Monica: 395 Santa Monica Place, Space 171, Santa Monica, CA (open to the public from 5 pm)
- Hillsdale: Hillsdale Shopping Center, 52 31st Ave, San Mateo, CA
- Westfield UTC: Westfield UTC, 4545 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA
- VinFast Citadel: Citadel Outlets: 100 Citadel Drive, Commerce, CA
- VinFast Berkeley: Fourth Street Shops, 1733 4th Street, Berkeley, CA
- VinFast Corte Madera: The Village, 1618 Redwood Hwy, Corte Madera, CA
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