Automobile

VinFast scores fleet deal with Autonomy for 2,500 EVs

VinFast, which began selling gasoline engine vehicles in Vietnam in 2019, is transitioning to become an all-EV maker by the end of this year and launching an aggressive global expansion. It delivered its first EV in Vietnam last year — a model smaller than the VF 8 and VF 9.

Painter said Autonomy has confidence in the quality and resale value of the VinFast vehicles it’s purchasing.

“Our due diligence really started with, ‘Are they making good cars?’ And they’re making great cars,” Painter said. “They are ready from a manufacturing point of view when other [EV makers] are still struggling.”

The deal with VinFast, Painter said, is worth about $100 million. Autonomy’s order is relatively small in the big picture, he said, but it gives the young automaker a boost as it ramps EV production.

“It certainly gives them a lot of comfort around being able to turn on the factory and produce cars at scale,” Painter said. “But in the big, big picture, 2,500 cars doesn’t really change anybody’s world in the long term. It’s just really helpful when they are getting started.”

Autonomy is mostly focused on Tesla subscriptions because that automaker is the EV market leader by far, Painter said. But his company plans to buy from startups Rivian, Lucid and Polestar as well as from legacy brands including Toyota, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

As Autonomy expands to EV-friendly markets such as Texas, Florida, Arizona and beyond, it needs more volume and a greater variety of vehicles.

“We’re looking to create variety in our lineup,” Painter said, “and we think that the VinFast product is a perfect fit.”

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