Will Going Public Be Enough To Save Vinfast From Ongoing Negative Reviews?

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Will Going Public Be Enough To Save Vinfast From Ongoing Negative Reviews?
Photo by Cook aynne on Unsplash

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Vinfast, the Vietnamese electric vehicle company operating out of Los Angeles, announced Friday that it would go public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in a deal valued at $27 billion. The company has been talking about going public in the United States for months now, and the massive valuation would make this the third largest SPAC deal ever, according to Bloomberg. Whether or not the merger with Hong Kong-based Black Spade Acquisition Co. is worth the price remains to be seen. But the news comes amid a torrent of negative reviews panning the company’s first electric vehicle for sale in the United States, the VF 8.

While dot.LA has not had the opportunity to demo the car (if you’re reading, we’d love to, Vinfast), the word around the web is brutally negative.

“The VF8, as it sits, is not ready for public consumption. Once word of these problems gets around, either from reviews like this one or owners or both, it's going to savage the company's reputation in America before anyone here has even heard of it.”


“the 2023 VinFast VF8 City Edition is simply not ready for prime time against the segment’s best.”


“No way in hell would I ever recommend the VF8 over an Ioniq 5, let alone any other new EV.”


“VinFast has already begun customer deliveries, which is an amazing feat. In order to pull it off, though, the company released a product that feels unfinished and embarrassing.”

-Road & Track

“Why Vinfast is intent on rushing this car to market is beyond me. If it would just slow down a bit, take the time to fix the problems we all experienced, it might actually have a decent car. As it stands now, the VF 8 City Edition will do nothing except earn Vinfast a bad reputation, one that might take decades to shake.”

-Green Car Reports

“As the first model to come to America from VinFast, the VF 8 has a lot riding on its success. Based on the vehicle I drove, they may still have some work to do.”

-JD Power

The list goes on…

While many reviewers did take the time to praise the car’s styling and paint, others reported various elements of the vehicles simply didn’t work. The Green Car Reports reviewer said that in the model they tested, none of the driver safety features worked, including “blind-spot monitors, automatic emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, active lane control.” Scott Evans at MotorTrend, reported that both the HVAC system and the built in navigation didn’t work in his demo car. Steve Ewing at InsideEVs, said the suspension was so bad that he got car sick for the first time in his life.

For a new and untested foreign brand trying to make a good first impression, reviews like these are likely to become a major obstacle. dot.LA has written previously about how VF 8’s meager specs don’t justify it’s $49,000+ price tag, but with the reviews coming in now it seems the only thing the car has going for it, is its excellent 10-year, 125,000-mile warranty. A selling point that drivers might be forced to use more than they’d like to.

The good news for Vinfast is that between its billionaire backer Phạm Nhật Vượng, and the new SPAC cash, the company should have deep enough pockets to buy some time to right the ship. That said, the VF 8’s flop certainly makes a comeback an uphill battle. If Vinfast wants to excel in the States, it will likely need to make major improvements for its next models, the VF 6 and VF 7, which are expected to go on sale in 2024.

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LA Tech Week: Local Climate Investors Assess and Vet Green Startups

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

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Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech Week: Goldhirsh Foundation and the Positive Effects of Technology
Photo taken by Decerry Donato

On Monday, Los Angeles-based philanthropic organization Goldhirsh Foundation hosted the Technology and Storytelling For Social Good panel at Creative Visions studio to kick off LA Tech week.

Tara Roth, president of the foundation, moderated the panel and gathered nonprofit and tech leaders including Paul Lanctot, web developer of The Debt Collective; Alexis Cabrera, executive director of 9 Dots; Sabra Williams, co-founder of Creative Acts; and Laura Gonzalez, senior program manager of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI).

Each of the panelists are grantees of Goldhirsh Foundation’s LA2050, an initiative launched in 2011 that is continuously trying to drive and track progress toward a shared vision for the future of Los Angeles. Goldhirsh’s vision is to make Los Angeles better for all and in order to achieve their goal, the foundation makes investments into organizations, creates partnerships and utilizes social capital through community events.

The panelists shared how the work they are doing in each of their respective sectors uses technology to solve some of society's most pressing challenges and highlight the importance of tech literacy across every community.

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