Vietnam's VinFast Faces Uphill Battle in the US Automotive Market

VinFast
(source:AFP/Nhac Nguyen)
As a newcomer to the automotive industry, VinFast, a Vietnamese car manufacturer, naturally seeks to expand its reach and market every model they release. However, their expansion into the United States market seems to be facing significant obstacles. During January to June 2023, VinFast VF8 managed to sell only 128 units.

This unfavorable sales figure creates a challenging environment for VinFast in Uncle Sam's land, especially considering the fierce competition they have to face. The US market is known for its loyalty to local heroes, as consumers tend to prefer homegrown brands.

According to Insideevs, VinFast initially introduced the VF8 model exclusively in California, targeting the state's preference for electric vehicles over conventional ones. However, the main reason the US automotive market is not receptive to VinFast is that the majority of consumers are not familiar with the brand. Additionally, VinFast's pricing is higher compared to well-established brands such as Ford, Volkswagen, or even Hyundai.

Despite receiving positive reviews from some American media outlets, including praise for the VF8 model, VinFast still faces challenges. Critics have pointed out that the VF8 feels like a rushed prototype that needs more refinement before it can be fully competitive in the market.

While the US market has yet to fully embrace this Vietnamese brand, VinFast is taking steps to ensure their new products resonate well with domestic consumers. They have plans to introduce electric cars and smaller, more affordable crossover models.

Car Modifications Can Decrease Resale Value

While car modifications can enhance the visual appeal and attract attention, they can have a negative impact on the resale value if not done properly or without following any guidelines. In fact, careless modifications can significantly reduce the selling price of a modified vehicle.

Vendri Iskar, the Head of Centralized Purchase at Autopedia in Jakarta, recently highlighted this issue. He explained that not all buyers are willing to accept a car that has been extensively modified in appearance.

"We also check whether the car has been repainted or not. That also affects the price. Furthermore, the interior factors have a significant influence, such as whether the head unit is still original or not," Vendri explained.

He added that even modifications like lowering the car's suspension or altering the ground clearance can affect the resale value. Therefore, it is crucial to consider these factors when selling a modified car.

"Some customers prefer to buy standard cars without modifications. And this will undoubtedly lower the selling price. There are many factors to consider in order to maintain the resale value of a car and prevent it from decreasing," Vendri emphasized.

For individuals looking to sell a modified used car, it is advisable to restore the vehicle's appearance to its original condition or provide the original parts to accommodate potential buyers who may wish to restore it themselves.

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