Vietnamese electric car maker VinFast now worth more than Ford
A Vietnamese electric car maker that has never made a profit has been valued at more than Ford and General Motors.
Shares in VinFast – dubbed ‘the Tesla of Asia’ – listed on the New York stock exchange on Tuesday at $22 each before soaring to more than $37.
That gave the company, which has just 350 electric vehicles (EVs) on the road in North America, a value of £67billion, topping the market capitalisation of both GM and Ford at £36billion and £38billion respectively.
But the shares crashed on its second day of trading yesterday, falling as much as a third to around $25.
Even then it was worth around £45billion.
Hot wheels: Shares in VinFast – dubbed ‘the Tesla of Asia’ – listed on the New York stock exchange at $22 each before soaring to more than $37
VinFast floated via a special purpose acquisition company – known as a Spac – merging with a firm already on the stock market in a move often used by start-ups to speed up the process.
It teamed up with Hong Kong-based Black Spade Acquisition and did not raise outside money.
Founder and chairman Pham Nhat Vuong, Vietnam’s richest man, owns around 99 per cent, meaning that few shares are available to trade.
The six-year-old firm initially made petrol cars but shifted to EVs to keep up with Chinese and US rivals such as BYD and Tesla.
It made 11,300 EVs in the first half of the year, while Elon Musk-backed Tesla made more than 889,000.
The VF8 model costs £36,000 in the US, echoing the hefty price of most Tesla cars.
Chief executive Le Thi Thu Thuy has said VinFast hopes to partner more in overseas markets. ‘We are switching to a hybrid model where we have our own showrooms, as well as talking to dealers to open dealer showrooms,’ Thuy said.
Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities, said: ‘The Asia EV market is massive and Wall Street has all its eyes on leaders in this next frontier. VinFast is the Tesla of Vietnam and Asia.’