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Vietnam automaker VinFast unveils US$198,000 SUV

09:52 | 09/09/2020

Priced at US$164,000, the luxury VinFast President went on sale on September 7. The first 100 customers will get a 17 percent discount on the price,

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vietnam automaker vinfast unveils us 198000 suv
VinFast President costsVND4.6 billion (US$198,200). Photo courtesy of VinFast

Vietnamese automaker VinFast has launched a luxury SUV, the VinFast President, to take on global brands like Lexus and Mercedes.

To cost VND4.6 billion (US$198,200), the seven-seater looks similar to VinFast’s first SUV, the Lux SA2.0, but with more advanced technologies and frills like massage and heated seats.

vietnam automaker vinfast unveils us 198000 suv
A VinFast President SUV seen in a dealership in Hanoi. Photo: VnExpress

Its 420HP V8 engine could go from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in 6.8 seconds and offers a top speed of nearly 300 kph.

VinFast will produce only 500 units and sell them exclusively in Vietnam. The first 100 customers will get a 17 percent discount on the price, according to VnExpress.

In its segment, the VinFast President costs 45 percent lower than the Lexus LX 570 and 33 percent lower than the BMW X7.

vietnam automaker vinfast unveils us 198000 suv
The V8 engine of VinFast President. Photo courtesy of VinFast

Industry insiders admitted it lacks some premium features often seen in luxury cars such as captain’s chairs, TV screens and a high-end sound system.

The vehicle signifies the ambition of VinFast, a unit of Vietnam’s largest conglomerate, Vingroup, to enter all segments of the auto market after bringing out its first vehicle in July last year.

Its other offerings are the VinFast Fadil hatchback, Lux A2.0 sedan and Lux SA2.0 SUV.

vietnam automaker vinfast unveils us 198000 suv
The seven-seater looks similar to VinFast’s first SUV, the Lux SA2.0, but with more advanced technologies and frills like massage and heated seats. Photo: Oto+

"They want to show people around the world that Vietnam can make a luxury car," Vu Tan Cong, deputy general director of Vietnam Automobile Industry and Trade Consulting, told the Nikkei Asian Review.

Nguyen Thi Van Anh, standing deputy general director of VinFast, agreed there is showcase value in the latest model. She said the SUV "is also our affirmation to the world of Vietnamese automobile production capacity."

vietnam automaker vinfast unveils us 198000 suv
The seven-seater looks similar to VinFast’s first SUV, the Lux SA2.0, but with more advanced technologies and frills like massage and heated seats. Photo courtesy of VinFast

Most passenger cars in Vietnam are assembled domestically from imported parts. VinFast is the first company to produce cars entirely in the country. It manufactures sedans and hatchbacks, as well as electric motorbikes in one of the world's biggest scooter markets.

The company sold 5,124 cars in the first quarter of this year to rank fifth in sales behind Hyundai, Toyota, Kia, and Honda.

Vietnam’s automobile sales down in seven months

vietnam automaker vinfast unveils us 198000 suv
A corner of TC Motor factory. TC Motor sold 7,606 vehicles in July, up 35.5 percent month-on-month and taking the figure for the first seven months to 35,620. Photo: tcmotor.vn

Sales of automobiles plunged 28 percent year-on-year to 131,248 units in the first seven months of this year, according to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.

Sales of all types fell, with passenger cars down 29 percent, commercial vehicles 23 percent, and special-use vehicles 39 percent.

The July figure hit 24,065 units, up a mere 0.3 percent against June and down 13 percent compared to July 2019.

The sale of domestically-assembled vehicles rose 2 percent month-on-month in July, to 16,088 units, while imports were down 2 percent to 7,977 units.

The figures, however, do not reflect overall consumption in the automobile market, as they exclude sales of manufacturers that are not VAMA members, such as Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Volkswagen, Volvo, and Hyundai Thanh Cong.

Hyundai Thanh Cong’s TC Motor sold 7,606 vehicles in July, up 35.5 percent month-on-month and taking the figure for the first seven months to 35,620.

Meanwhile, some 2,210 VinFast automobiles were sold in July. With an average of 2,200 vehicles being sold monthly, the local carmaker’s sales stand at around 15,270 for January-July.

The combined sales of VAMA members, TC Motor, and VinFast reached 33,885 in July, for 182,138 in the first seven months, Viet Nam News said./.

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