VinFast, a Vietnamese electric vehicle (EV) start-up, has announced that three of its senior sales and customer-service executives have left the company this week, the Reuters reported.
This comes after the delayed and expensive rollout of VinFast’s first EVs in California, its first foreign market. The departures are the latest in a series of executive changes for the ambitious automaker. Gareth Dunsmore, deputy chief executive for global sales and marketing, has left due to “personal reasons” while Greg Tebbutt, who was the chief marketing officer, and Craig Westbrook, the former chief service officer, left because of “changes in the management model and specific business requirements.”
VinFast, which is a subsidiary of Vingroup JSC, sent 999 of its VF8 SUVs to California from Vietnam in November, but it was not until earlier this month that they were prepared for delivery to customers after the company revealed that the car would have a lower battery range than it had advertised to buyers.
VinFast is currently selling the first batch of VF8s, which have been rebranded as the City Edition to reflect the lower range, in California. The company plans to ship a longer-range version of the VF8 later this year.
VinFast is seeking to enter the US EV market at a time when established competitors, such as Tesla, are reducing prices and preparing to introduce a variety of new models. Rival EV start-ups, including Lucid, Rivian, and electric truck manufacturer Nikola, have all experienced lower orders, higher interest rates, and increased competition.
VinFast began production in 2019 and is planning to construct a factory in North Carolina. The company has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States and reported a loss of $2.1 billion in 2022 on revenues of $634 million.
Since its founding in 2017, VinFast has had three CEOs, and the company is looking for further expansion opportunities, according to Reuters.