Recipient of largest state subsidy posts $623M loss, most in three years

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(The Center Square) – A new VinFast earnings report shows the electric car company slated to receive the largest taxpayer subsidy in North Carolina history lost $623 million this summer, with net losses now eclipsing $5 billion since 2021.

The earnings report released Thursday shows VinFast’s revenue swelled 3.8% from the second quarter to $342.7 million, as net losses continued to rise by 20% to $622.9 million, putting the company on track to post its biggest yearly loss in the last three years.

Electric vehicle deliveries from the six-year-old Vietnamese company hit 10,027 for the third quarter of 2023, an increase of 5.2% from the 9,535 delivered the prior quarter.

About 60% of those deliveries, accounting for more than 6,000, went to Green and Smart Mobility, a rental and taxi company owned by VinFast’s parent organization, Vingroup. VinFast was forced to recall all 999 vehicles sent to the United States in May, just weeks after reviews described its $50,000-plus VF8 City Edition SUV as “sickness-inducing,” “terrible,” “sloppy,” and “borderline uncontrollable.”

While automotive data provider S&P Global Mobility reports only 137 VF8s have been registered in the U.S. through the first half of 2023, VinFast “started to see a sales increase in September in North America, particularly in Canada,” according to the company’s unaudited financial report.

“We aim for our vehicles to be present in up to 50 global markets and countries by the end of 2024,” the report read. “In the U.S., this approach is intended to provide increased consumer access to substantially more states, as compared to a direct-to-customer model. Through the end of September … VinFast has received Applications/Letters of Intent from 27 dealers with more than 100 open points across 12 states in the U.S, including Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, New Jersey and Arkansas, among others.”

Thursday’s report follows a groundbreaking in late July at the company’s first facility outside of Vietnam in Chatham County, where VinFast is expected to start production by 2025 after postponing the launch by a year.

The $4 billion facility is funded in part by taxpayers “to lead the EV revolution” through a state incentive package that could reach $854 million over 32 years if the company achieves its investment and hiring goals, which include 7,500 jobs at the plant by 2027. Chatham County is expected to contribute another roughly $400 million.

This week’s financial report comes a little over a month and a half after VinFast’s initial public offering on the Nasdaq briefly made the company the third-most valuable automaker, behind Tesla and Toyota, with a share price of $93 and a market cap of more than $200 billion.

That temporarily made the company worth more than Ford, GM, Volkswagen, Stellantis, and Rivian combined. Share prices have since dropped off by more than 90%, putting the company’s shares at $8.14 on Friday.

VinFast is now working to raise $1.2 billion through its parent company, its billionaire chairman, and stock sales over the next six months. The company, which aims to deliver between 40,000 and 50,000 electric vehicles globally by the end of the year, has shipped about 21,000 through the first nine months of 2023.

“We see strong momentum in our business, supported by growing delivery volumes, increased revenues, and an improved path to profitability,” VinFast CFO David Mansfield said in a statement accompanying the Thursday report.

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