Traditional dealers could bring existing clients, new strategies to sales
Report says dealers cautious, but interested in the new brand
Vietnamese automaker VinFast has been struggling to get its foot in the door of the U.S. and Canadian auto market, and now a new report suggests that the company is looking at switching from a Tesla-style store model to one with more traditional dealerships.
Reuters said last week that VinFast is looking at selling its electric vehicles through more traditional channels. So far, the automaker has imported 3,000 EVs to the U.S., but sales of those few vehicles has been sluggish.
“Opening our own stores is great but it takes a lot of time,” CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy told Reuters. “Joining forces with other partners to go faster has always been our nature.” The CEO added that VinFast was still working out what the new model might look like and was in discussions with potential partners.
The report spoke with several dealers across the U.S. The dealers contacted said that they were open to the idea of the new brand, but needed to know more details about the VinFast strategy. That includes sales strategy as well as dealer requirements, parts distribution plans, and warranty work.
For typically conservative car dealers, a new brand that is already seeming to struggle could be a tough pill to swallow. On the other hand, if the company shows innovation and a strong new model plan (along with some financial guarantees), it could be worth the risk.
VinFast made its initial stock offering on the NASDAQ exchange last week. Early trading saw shares rise as high as nearly $40 per share before falling to under $17 this morning.