VinFast's Promising Philippine Debut: A New Era for Electric Mobility | Motourismo

VinFAst launch at the Mall of Asia


The Mall of Asia, a sprawling retail and entertainment complex in the bustling Bay City area of Metro Manila, is not typically associated with the future of automotive technology. Yet, on a sunny morning in late May, it became the epicenter of a quiet revolution.

It was at this complex that VinFast, the pioneering Vietnamese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, made its much-anticipated debut in the Philippines, showcasing a lineup of modern, sleek EVs that promised to redefine transportation in the archipelago nation.

The event was a carnival of sights and sounds. Gleaming VinFast models – the VF 9, VF 7, VF e34, and VF 5 – stood proudly on display, their futuristic designs drawing curious glances from passersby. Crowds gathered around, captivated by the promise of a cleaner, greener future. But the true excitement was reserved for the test drive area on the mall's eighth floor, where eager customers lined up for a chance to experience VinFast's electric prowess firsthand.

“I heard they have been around Europe, the US, Indonesia, and of course, Vietnam. And we're one of the latest countries that they entered,” said Reph Bangsil, a Filipino content creator and entrepreneur who participated in the launch event. “It's very exciting because they're already very established and secure as a brand.”

A Car Fit for Everyone’s Lifestyle 

VinFast, though a newcomer to the automotive world, has swiftly gained recognition for its innovation and ambition. Founded in 2017 by visionary billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong, the company has expanded into markets outside Vietnam and was recently listed among TIME's 100 Most Influential Companies of 2024 for its rapid development and unique EV battery subscription model.

The launch event marks a positive start for the brand in the Philippines, evident in the long queues of mall-goers eager to test drive the vehicles and learn more about the new Vietnamese brand. VinFast's diverse lineup seems to offer something to fulfill every visitor's needs and lifestyle.

Having never tried an EV before, even though being a frequent car driver, Ariana Evangelista, an athlete living in Manila, said she had a good first impression of the VF 5, the most compact VinFast vehicle on display at the event.

“With the car being light and nimble, it’s going to be easy to drive, especially if I have errands to run or if I have a night out with friends,” said Evangelista. “This is definitely the car that I will bring because it's so cute and small, and it can be easily parked anywhere”.

For the young couple Prince Rivero and Lesley Martinez, it was the VinFast VF e34, a bigger crossover SUV boasting a 42-kWh battery and 148hp, that caught their attention. Rivero, at 6' 3"”, particularly appreciates the spaciousness that is hard to find in other regular cars, while Martinez appreciates the car’s quietness and user-friendliness. And because of the powerful torque of the VF e34, Rivero said it’s going to be perfect for going to the mountains, especially here in the Philippines.

“A regular car might struggle going up the mountain because of the lack of power, but this VinFast car, I think, is going to deliver on that,” he said.

Another offering at the event was the VF 7, a futuristic mid-size SUV whose responsiveness and high-tech features earned praise from John So, a prominent content creator and influencer. 

“It was such a treat to take the VF 7 for a spin a couple of times, very responsive, very high-tech,” So said with a big smile on his face. "Based on my experience with EVs, this was quite on par with luxury EVs already in the Philippines.”

But the star of the show was the VF 9, VinFast's flagship seven-seater e-SUV packed with everything VinFast has to offer. It boasts a sprawling panoramic glass roof that stretches seamlessly across all three rows, flooding the interior with natural light and contributing to the vehicle's aerodynamic efficiency.

The car seemed to captivate professional hosts James Deakin and Candy Gamos, who praised its spaciousness and advanced features like a massive 15.6-inch screen for your binge-watching guilty pleasure, complimented by a nice sound system perfect for listening to your favorite podcasts when stuck in traffic. James even jokes that the luxuriousness of the backseat made him briefly feel like a boss and have the urge to “bark orders at random people.”

A Promising Start with Filipino Consumers

No prices have been announced yet, but VinFast has already partnered with four dealers in the Philippines, ensuring accelerated market presence and widespread availability of reliable after-sales service for customers.

"We come to the Philippine market with good quality products and accessible prices,” VinFast Philippines CEO Nguyen Thi Minh Ngoc said at the brand launch.

But VinFast does not just bring new products to the Philippines. The automotive company also offer a unique battery subscription policy, making EVs more affordable to a wider range of Filipino consumers. It also provides a 10-year warranty on vehicles and a free battery replacement and maintenance program, further showing its commitment to a customer-centric philosophy.

The promising start of VinFast in the Philippines has ignited a sense of optimism among customers. The brand's commitment to quality, sustainability, and affordability resonates with the Filipino market, fostering a positive outlook for its future.

Customers who participated in the test drive event expressed their excitement about the brand's potential in the country. Bangsil, the content creator, was particularly enthusiastic about VinFast's all-EV lineup, stating, "I love that they have an all-EV lineup, and I hope the prices are affordable enough for us to see them around the whole Philippines."

This sentiment was echoed by other visitors, like So, who was drawn to VinFast's commitment to sustainability and innovation.

“I love how their commitment to sustainability really is a driving force to their innovation, like the designs and philosophies. And I'm excited about how they could bring more innovations here in not just technology, but also in sustainability,” he said.

A Long-term Commitment

The positive reception from customers bodes well for VinFast's future in the Philippines. The company's strong start, coupled with its commitment to innovation and sustainability, has set the stage for a promising journey in the Philippine automotive market.

For Filipino consumers, VinFast's arrival is a welcome development. It introduces a new player to the market, offering a wider range of choices and potentially driving down prices. Moreover, VinFast's commitment to sustainability aligns with the growing environmental consciousness among Filipinos, who are increasingly seeking eco-friendly alternatives to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.

The road ahead is not without challenges. VinFast will have to collaborate with local authorities, build a robust charging infrastructure, and compete with established automakers. However, if the initial reactions are any indication, the company is well on its way to becoming a major player in the Philippine automotive industry.

“We will be here for the long term,” said VinFast Philippines CEO Nguyen Thi Minh Ngoc.




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