This week has been one of high drama for an auto company that’s clearing a path for itself in the US market.
EV startup VinFast, a Vietnam-based producer of crossovers and SUVs, made its Nasdaq debut this week to great fanfare – too much, according to some industry observers.
On Tuesday, VinFast went public after merging with a blank check company called Black Spade Acquisition. Motley Fool calls VinFast “a small electric vehicle manufacturer with large ambitions” and it’s just how large and attainable those ambitions are that investors can’t seem to agree on.
Initially, the company’s Nasdaq debut resulted in a valuation of $85 billion – nearly double that of either legacy automaker GM or Ford. And while this stunning display was met with skepticism from some, it was also short-lived. As the week has unfolded, VinFast’s stock price has tumbled precipitously.
But even after its stock fell back to earth, the result was still what TechCrunch called “an eyebrow-raising valuation for a young EV upstart that delivered just 11,300 vehicles in the first half of 2023.”
The TechCrunch report also adds that volatility has been the result of the search for the next Tesla, though there are major risks for VinFast shareholders, most notably around questions over how the company will scale and sell EVs in an American market where there’s heavy competition.
And it’s going to take a lot to make a positive impression after VinFast’s initial attempts had Motor Trend’s Scott Evans say of the company’s VF8 SUV that he’d “be embarrassed to look a customer in the eye when handing over the keys to this vehicle.”
Still, none of this has been enough to dissuade the public interest from investors or states looking to lure manufacturing activity. Just before the market debut, it was revealed that VinFast would receive $1.2 billion from the state of North Carolina to build a factory west of Raleigh. The deal is reportedly the largest economic incentive package in the state’s history.