VinFast VF3 2024: The Cheapest EV on the U.S. Market

In an unexpected development, Vietnamese automaker VinFast is mulling over the addition of a fifth vehicle to its upcoming U.S. lineup, and it’s not your typical choice. The contender? The VF3 mini crossover, originally designed for the Vietnamese market! While this may raise some eyebrows, VinFast representatives have hinted at the VF3’s potential appeal in the United States, particularly as an affordable sub-$20,000 city car targeting budget-conscious American consumers.

 

Unveiled in June, the VinFast VF3 boasts a compact, boxy profile with a high-riding stance, measuring a mere 122.6 inches in length. That makes it approximately 10 inches shorter than the similar Baojun Yep, a creation resulting from GM’s collaboration with Chinese partners SAIC and Wuling. While VinFast has been tight-lipped about the VF3’s electric powertrain specifics, the automaker emphasizes its capability to deliver an “impressive travel distance” tailored to the typical daily usage patterns of Vietnamese drivers, exceeding 200 miles. Given its dimensions and market positioning, it’s likely the VF3 features a single-motor, two-wheel-drive setup.

 

Intriguingly, despite its diminutive size, the VF3 has managed to capture the interest of prospective VinFast dealers in the U.S., who are actively encouraging the automaker to import it as an entry-level electric vehicle model. VinFast acknowledges that it is currently “investigating the demand and potential for the VF3 model in the U.S., following the positive responses from our dealers.” The company has promised to unveil further details in due course.

 

Notably, Vietnam’s pioneering automaker has recently transitioned from being a direct-to-consumer brand to a hybrid retail model, which also includes franchised dealerships. The company is in the process of selecting dealers nationwide, and it has made significant progress in recruiting 27 dealers across a dozen states to market its electric vehicles following meetings with potential partners.

 

Duke Hale, a consultant advising VinFast, disclosed that the automaker presented a life-sized foam model of the VF3 during meetings with prospective dealers held last month, one in Tampa, Florida, and another in Dallas, Texas. Impressively, the response was overwhelmingly favorable, with nearly 100 percent of attending dealers expressing strong interest in the VF3. Hale attributes this enthusiasm to the VF3’s expected affordability, as it is projected to be priced below $20,000.

 

While VinFast has yet to announce an official price for the VF3 in Vietnam, the automaker has emphasized its commitment to keeping the model accessible to the masses. The tiny EV is even being hailed as a potential “national vehicle” for the Vietnamese population, with sales scheduled to commence next year and deliveries in the third quarter of 2024.

 

At present, VinFast’s most budget-friendly offering in Vietnam is the larger subcompact VF6, starting at approximately $28,000. However, if the VF3 makes its way to the U.S. market with a sub-$20,000 MSRP, it could potentially claim the title of America’s most affordable electric vehicle by a significant margin.

 

VinFast has already confirmed four models for the U.S. market, all of which are crossovers: the mid-size VF8, already available in California, the slightly larger three-row VF9 starting at $83,000, the VF6 subcompact, and the VF7 compact. The company is also making preparations to construct a factory in North Carolina for the production of some of these vehicles.


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