VinFast losses widen, but it's confident of tripling sales this year



 

HANOI — Vietnamese electric vehicle (EV) maker VinFast on Thursday said its fourth-quarter net loss deepened 3.4% from the previous three months but it aims to nearly triple vehicle sales this year as it expands into new markets.

VinFast’s net losses in the final quarter of 2023 reached $650.1 million, also 1.3% higher than the same period of 2022.

It plans to increase deliveries to 100,000 units this year, compared with the almost 35,000 made in 2023, when it missed a 50,000 unit target due to slow EV adoption in some regions and increased price competition.

“This year, we expand globally and have all the vehicles, including the right-hand drive model. So we are confident that we are going to achieve the guidance,” chairwoman Le Thi Thu Thuy told Reuters after the earnings were released.

Other automakers, in contrast, have slashed EV sales targets and curtailed investment plans due to weakening demand in major markets such as the United States.

VinFast, which launched U.S. sales in March last year with its VF 8 sport utility vehicle, relies heavily on domestic demand, with around 70% of deliveries going to its affiliate Green SM (GSM), a taxi operator and leasing provider backed by VinFast CEO Pham Nhat Vuong.

Fewer than 1,000 units were sold in North America, Thuy said, adding that new dealerships would boost VinFast’s sales this year compared to its direct sales model.

Fourth-quarter revenue reached $437 million, missing an average analyst estimate of $570.9 million, according to LSEG data. Full-year revenue was up 91% at $1.2 billion.

India and Indonesia

Founded in 2017 and making EVs since 2021, VinFast has announced numerous EV growth plans overseas. It is constructing a factory in North Carolina, which is expected to launch in 2025, and planning its first manufacturing facilities in India.

Thuy said the company was targeting “two big markets”, Indonesia and India, where it would implement a battery leasing scheme with customers paying a monthly fee the same or lower than the gasoline cost for equivalent vehicles.

“We expect to launch factories in India and Indonesia in 2026,” Thuy said, adding that until then its Vietnam plant is able to supply cars to the U.S and other markets.

VinFast’s market capitalisation surged to $85 billion — higher than that of legacy U.S. automaker Ford — after its Nasdaq debut in August, but it has since slumped to $12 billion, with its U.S. market entry coinciding with intensifying price competition led by market leader Tesla.

Shares in VinFast, backed by Vietnam’s largest conglomerate Vingroup were down 2.66% in premarket trading.

According to Thuy, after a blackout period ends on Feb. 26, VinFast will start a fundraising process as it looks to increase the number of shares available for public trading to 10-20% by the end of the year from around 2% currently.

 



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