The billionaire behind six-month-old Vietnamese auto startup VinFast plans a feat even Toyota and Hyundai couldn’t pull off during their early days: sell a car in the U.S. Pham Nhat Vuong, the Southeast Asian country’s richest man and now in charge of the new automaker, is so intent on exporting electric vehicles to the lucrative American market in 2021 that he’s plowing as much as $2 billion of his own fortune to reach that goal. His cash would account for half the capital investment of VinFast, which began delivering cars to Vietnamese consumers with BMW-licensed engines earlier this year and aims to expand into electric vehicles. “Our ultimate goal is to create an international brand,” the 51-year-old tycoon said in an interview at the Hanoi headquarters of the car company’s parent Vingroup, which Vuong founded and holds the title of chairman. “It will be a very difficult road and we will have to put in a lot of effort. But there’s only one road ahead.” The homegrown cars made under Vuong’s sprawling real estate-to-hospitals conglomerate faces an uphill battle to succeed overseas. Carmakers such as India’s Tata Motors and Malaysia’s Proton Holdings struggled to win over consumers away from their… Read full this story
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