When people think about things that are made in Vietnam, cars probably don't even rank as an afterthought, but a Vietnamese consortium known as Vingroup (aka the largest private enterprise in the country) is trying to change that.
VinFast will be the country's first high-volume producer of cars, and while we have no idea what kind of vehicles the company will be making, apparently we can expect to find out at the Paris Auto Show later this year.
The move to build cars in Vietnam is a big one, culturally, as the country is mostly known as a haven for motorcycles and scooters due to their low cost of ownership and Vietnam's crowded streets. A shift to cars, if they're meant to be sold domestically, could radically alter the way the country gets around.
VinFast already has a good start on things, having broken ground on its factory in Hai Phong in September of 2017. While facts are thin on the ground here, the press release from VinFast's new PR agency PFPR states that:
"VinFast products will share a number of characteristics and values: Vietnam, Style, Safety, Innovation, and Pioneering. Its cars will meet international standards and customer expectations in terms of premium design, quality, dynamics, in-car features and ownership experience."
Precisely what that means is kind of nebulous, but the international standards bit is interesting. Will VinFast be able to carve a space for itself outside its home country with vehicle exports from China rapidly expanding?
We'll have to wait till October to find out.