VinFast’s expansion outside of their home country of Vietnam has not gone smoothly. The automaker has hit another bump in the road after one of their electric SUVs caught fire while sitting in a showroom in Germany.
According to a report by the German publication Kölnische Rundschau, the fire broke out at a VinFast showroom in Cologne’s Rudolfplatz area on Monday afternoon. After an initial investigation local officials indicated the fire started near the frunk of a vehicle and spread to the showroom. The report does not state which model VinFast vehicle caught fire.
Firefighters responding to the scene had to break down one of the front entrance doors to gain access to the area and suppress the fire, causing significant damage to both the vehicle and the showroom, which only opened in December 2022.
We have reached out to VinFast for more information about this fire but have not received a response by the time of publication. We will update this story when and if we receive a response.
VinFast was hoping to begin deliveries in North America last year, but those were delayed after an underwhelming range rating from the EPA. The Vietnamese automaker eventually increased the range slightly through a software update, but then had to contend with Tesla’s massive price cuts, leading to them eventually lowering prices and abandoning the battery subscription plans.
So far the company has delivered only 45 VF8 electric SUVs in California starting earlier this month, even though they shipped 999 of them to the US last year. In attempt to streamline operations VinFast consolidated its US and Canadian operations into VinFast North America, resulting in a number of job losses.