Even before officially operating in Canada, Vietnamese automaker VinFast has made a sudden turn. The electric vehicle company recently sprung price hikes to its upcoming line of SUVs, the VF8 and VF9, though it has vowed to honour its lower prices offered before Sept. 1, 2022.
At the start of September, VinFast quietly hiked the base prices for all its 2023 models. It then raised the price – and cut the flexibility – of its battery leasing subscription. I wrote about this program in early September, noting the subscription model allowed the price of the vehicle to be lower since it did not include the battery, which is the most expensive part of the car.
Under the new pricing, the VF8 increased from 50,850 to $54,990, with the battery lease going from $39 per month to $259. If you want to purchase the vehicle with the battery, the cost is now $64,990. The price hike also pushes the VF9 into luxury territory. Originally priced at just under $70,000, it now costs $79,990, with a battery leasing charge of $349 per month. The base version of the VF9 with battery is now $103,790.
Perhaps most concerning is the way the company quietly changed the prices on its website but did not mention it on social media or a press release. It also did not ask the media to correct stories published with the old prices after Sept. 1. It has, however, updated its website with slogans like “premium within reach.”
It makes one think VinFast was happy to have the lower prices circulate for as long as possible before pivoting to affordable luxury. That’s a risky move for a brand few have heard of. Hopefully it will be a bit more transparent in the future.
Michael Bettencourt bought his first EV in late 2011 and has followed the Canadian EV scene ever since. Follow him on Twitter @MCBet10court
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