Vietnamese electric automaker Vinfast is launching in Canada with plans for nearly 40 store locations before the end of next year. At least two showrooms are already under construction in top regional shopping centres.
VinFast is part of Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest conglomerate, which has pledged USD $3.5 billion to the company and its growth. Vinfast is said to be the first large automotive manufacturer in Vietnam as well as the first Vietnamese automaker to participate in a major international auto show. The direct-to-consumer company says that it can make up to 500,000 cars per year and its global expansion will start with Canada the United States and Europe in 2022.
The company has said that it plans to release two electric SUVs in Canada this year and the store expansion will create a network of consumer-facing showrooms as Vinfast seeks to rapidly gain market share. Vinfast’s VF8 is expected to be priced at slightly over $50,000 CAD while the VF9 will cost about $70,000 or so.
Interestingly, battery packs are not included in the price of a Vinfast vehicle — rather, users rent them (for about $40 CAD/month) up to a distance of 500km and then pay an extra 5 cents per kilometre.
The company said last year that it plans to open 38 retail locations in Canada by the end of 2023 with an initial presence in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. The Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver markets will be first before targeting smaller markets as Vinfast gains brand awareness and sees sales. Retail locations in Canada will be a combination of retail showrooms, combined sales and service facilities, and service-only locations.
So far we know that Vinfast will be opening storefronts at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto and at Square One in Mississauga. Construction hoarding is now up in both malls. The Vancouver market is said to be a target and given that nearly 40 stores will operate in Canada, all major centres will likely see at least one Vinfast location.
And while 38 locations sounds like a lot, Vinfast has said that it plans to open 60 showrooms and service centres in California alone as part of a bigger US expansion.
Vinfast is one of several automobile retailers to be targeting opening in major Canadian shopping centres. Several other electric automobile manufacturers also have storefronts in major malls including Tesla, Genesis, Polestar and most recently Lucid Motors. Other car companies with mall-based locations include Nissan, Mercedes, Porsche and of course Toyota which recently opened a massive facility at West Edmonton Mall.
At Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre alone, four automobile showrooms will be present by this spring including Vinfast’s new location, Lucid Motors, Tesla and Nissan.
We’ll follow up on this story when Vinfast begins opening its Canadian storefronts.