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Paris show: Vietnam’s VinFast reveals first models

VinFast sedan and SUV set to lead Vietnam’s home-grown automotive bid

11 Sep 2018

VIETNAM’S only domestic car-maker VinFast has uncovered its first two “premium” models in the form of a yet-to-be-named sedan and SUV ahead of the pair’s full unveiling at next month’s Paris motor show.
 
Tapping Italian design firm Pininfarina for styling, both VinFast vehicles will sport a chrome-accented large hexagonal front grille flanked by ultra-slender headlights, as well as a prominent ‘V’ logo front and rear that pays homage to both the brand’s name and home country.
 
The sedan features a long sculpted bonnet, high beltline and sloping roofline that culminates in a subtle boot spoiler and stylised tail-lights that taper inwards to connect under the ‘V’ badge.
 
Meanwhile, VinFast’s SUV offering wears boxier proportions with light black-plastic cladding around the wheelarches and side skirts, integrated roof rails and a similar rear fascia as its sedan sibling.
 
A subsidiary of Vingroup – a Vietnamese conglomerate with ties to real estate – VinFast has also tapped Canadian global automotive supplier Magna International for technical development, and will produce its vehicles out of a facility in Haiphong, the country’s third-largest city.
 
VinFast also has distribution rights of General Motors (GM) vehicles in Vietnam, with the latter transferring its retail operations and Hanoi facility to the former last month.
 
The burgeoning Vietnamese manufacturer is eyeing five product launches in 2019, including a small car, an electric vehicle and an electric bus, in addition to the just-revealed sedan and SUV.
 
Last year, VinFast hired former GM executive vice-president of global manufacturing operations Jim DeLuca as its CEO.
 
However, with a domestic left-hand-drive market, it is unlikely any VinFast vehicles will make their way Down Under for local consumption.
 
VinFast director of design David Lyon said the design of the brand’s first vehicles will reflect their country of origin.
 
“The strong, distinguishable design, enhanced by elegant lines and refined details, gives our cars several distinctive highlights,” he said.
 
“In conjunction with Pininfarina, we have carefully sculpted each body line to express the natural beauty of Vietnam and the warm-hearted and dynamic characteristics of its people through a modern and world-class design language.”

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