Vietnamese electric vehicle (EV) maker VinFast saw a remarkable surge in its shares (VFS.O) during its Nasdaq debut after a $23 billion backdoor listing. The stock opened at $22, double the agreed $10 per share with VinFast’s SPAC partner, Black Spade Acquisition (BSAQ.A), valuing the company at $23 billion. The shares eventually closed at $37.06, boosting VinFast’s valuation to $85 billion, surpassing both Ford and General Motors in market capitalization.
VinFast’s listing was achieved through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), enabling it to enter a market where it aims to challenge Tesla with a $4 billion factory and innovative sales strategies. Despite not yet turning a profit, the company’s ambitious plans and EV offerings have attracted significant investor interest.
Vietnam’s wealthiest individual, Pham Nhat Vuong, owns 99% of VinFast’s shares through his flagship company and affiliates. VinFast’s Chief Financial Officer, David Mansfield, stated that the company plans to raise capital from strategic and institutional investors within the next 18 months.
VinFast has already shipped around 3,000 vehicles to North America, targeting the EV market. However, initial sales have been slow, with only 137 VinFast EVs registered in the United States as of June. The company’s CEO, Le Thi Thu Thuy, revealed plans to revamp its distribution model, shifting from a direct-to-consumer approach inspired by Tesla to a hybrid model that includes partnerships with dealers.
VinFast, initially a unit of Vietnam’s conglomerate Vingroup (VIC.HM), has faced financial challenges, reporting a net loss of $598 million in the first quarter of this year and a loss of $2.1 billion in 2022. Despite these losses, the company has begun construction on a $4 billion plant in North Carolina, aiming to tap into the American and European EV markets.
VinFast is entering the global EV market during a period of intense competition and pressure on pricing, primarily driven by Tesla and Chinese EV companies. The company is looking to reduce costs in the future, aiming to enhance its competitiveness as it introduces new EV models and expands into international markets.