Vietnamese automaker VinFast has been forced to delay the European launch of the VF 8 and VF 9 electric SUVs to early 2023 from the second half of 2022 because of the global shortage of semiconductors.
"The global chipset supply chain disruption has affected VinFast and our production and delivery schedule in Europe," the automaker told Automotive News Europe in an emailed reply to questions, adding that it is working with its suppliers to start exports to Europe and Canada "in the coming months."
The delay for Europe, where the brand will start first in Germany, France and the Netherlands, comes as VinFast's first shipment of 999 VF 8 midsize SUVs departed Vietnam for the United States last week.
The VF 8s will be transported to California and then delivered to customers in late December, according to a VinFast statement.
The company t is weighing a U.S. initial public offering as soon as January 2023, Bloomberg reported.
At this year's Paris auto show, VinFast showed four full-electric cars, the VF 6 small crossover, VF 7 compact crossover, the VF 8 midsize SUV and the VF 9 large SUV.
VinFast executive Jean-Christophe Mercier told Automotive News Europe at the show that the automaker would start deliveries of the VF 9 in early 2023 and also start taking orders for the VF 7 and VF 6 next year.
Mercier, who is VinFast Europe's vice president of aftersales and customer ownership experience, declined to give a more exact time line for when reservations would start. It's also unclear whether the shipping delay has affected VinFast's plans to open a slew of stores in Europe.
VinFast said it opened its first flagship stores in Cologne, Germany, and Paris, the company's first in France, this month.
Those stores are to be followed by locations in Amsterdam, the brand's primary Dutch location; as well as Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt and Hamburg. The company also said last month that by early 2023 it would open stores in Oberhausen, Germany; Marseille, Rennes, Montpellier and Metz in France; and Den Haag and Rotterdam, Netherlands.