VinFast has announced it is cutting its workforce in the US after announcing it was consolidating its Canadian and US operations into a single entity known as VinFast North America last month. Along with the job cuts the Vietnamese automaker has also revealed when the first US deliveries will take place after missing their 2022 deadline.
VinFast shipped their first batch of 999 VF8 electric SUVs to North America late last year, with the shipment arriving in California in early December. The Vietnamese automaker was hoping to meet their deadline and deliver the first vehicles to customers before the end of the year, but the new year came without word of any deliveries taking place.
Those deliveries will now take place later this month, and the reason for the delay appears to be software related. In a statement the company said “the cars have been updated with the latest software,” and that the first deliveries of the VF8 will happen “in the second half of February.” VinFast also said that the second batch of VF8 SUVs will be shipped to the US some time in Q2 2023, but they did not specify how many would be included in that shipment. (via CNBC)
The problems for VinFast are not just limited to their vehicles, as the company announced on Monday it is cutting its workforce in the US following its North American restructuring. A spokesperson confirmed the job cuts with Reuters, but did not specify how many jobs would be lost, adding that the cuts would not impact their operations in their home country of Vietnam. The company said it had about 150 employees in the US, the majority of which are in sales, support, and distribution.
VinFast is facing an uphill battle with their expansion into North America. Their first offering in the VF8 underwhelmed with its EPA range rating of just 179 miles (288km), despite initially advertising a range of up to 292 miles (470km). That has since been increased to 207 miles (333km), presumably through the software update that has delayed deliveries.
The automaker also had to contend with Tesla’s price cuts announced in January, to which it responded with price cuts of its own. However since the VF8 is built in Vietnam it does not qualify for the $7,500 tax credit in the US, whereas all variants of the Model Y now does.