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VinFast Will Pay Customers Every Time Their Cars Stop Working

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When contributor Emme Hall attended the launch of Vietnamese upstart automaker VinFast’s VF8 City Edition for us, she encountered numerous problems with the vehicle. In fact, the entire rollout of VinFast in the United States has been plagued by problems. VinFast’s solution? Cash, cash, cash.

We’re starting to reach “New Coke” levels of bad with the VinFast product rollout, which continues to be the poster child for our mantra: Building Cars Is Hard. Details of the cash-for-headaches program are below, as well as a reminder that selling cars is hard, too. We’ll also talk about San Fran’s adoption of electric vehicles and Canada’s adoption of EV vans. It’s Friday, let’s do this thing!

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

(Oh no, I’ve just been informed it’s Thursday).

VinFast Will Pay You For Every Inconvenience

VinFast VF8 front 3/4 shot
Photo credit: VinFast

First, there was the botched preview of VinFast from writer Kevin Williams, who went to Vietnam to drive their cars only to decide they were not ready for America. He was correct. This was confirmed months later by our test drive, which involved multiple failures in vehicles. VinFast recalled all its cars to, in theory, correct these issues.

VinFast seems so sure its cars are up to snuff (or so in need of sales) that it’ll literally pay you if you have an issue. Here’s the company’s press release outlining how it works, but here are the key bits:

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VinFast strives to promptly address all vehicle issues and provide customers with direct support including service vouchers or cash based on the issue. Specifically, these issues are classified into the following Types:

  • Type 1 issues cause inconvenience(s) that do not impact the use of the vehicle. Eligible customers will receive USD 100 for each Type 1 issue they experience.

  • Type 2 issues render a vehicle inoperable. In addition to providing roadside assistance, VinFast will provide eligible customers with USD 300 for each Type 2 issue they experience.

  • Type 3 issues require a repair time of more than three days. From the fourth day onward, eligible customers will receive USD 100 for each additional day that their vehicle is being serviced by VinFast.

Could these deals be combined?

If Type 1 and 2 issues occur simultaneously, support will cover both Types. If a Type 3 issue were also to occur, eligible customers would also be entitled to Type 3 support.

It seems like it. Obviously, there’s a lot of fine print, and if you wreck or modify your car don’t expect support. Also, don’t modify a leased VinFast (which is the only way to get one) for obvious reasons. Or, honestly, please do modify a VinFast and then let us write about it.

The math here is pretty good. Currently, a VinFast lease is about $431 a month with a $4,965 downpayment. If you can get a Type 1 issue ($100) plus a Type 2 issue ($300) and they keep the car for five days, that’s $600 by my math. This is a 36-month lease so, if you’re unlucky enough to have the vehicle break down this way every month then you’ll be completely break even at about month 29 of the lease. Free car!

TrueCar Punts CEO, Lays Off Big Chunk Of Staff

Truecar

True story. Yesterday morning our beloved editor, David, was kind enough to drive me to the airport at 5 a.m. Most people would say “Take an Uber” and, yet, David climbed into the i3 and piloted me toward LAX. As we drove down the 405 I noticed a building with a giant TrueCar sign on it and I thought to myself: “What’s the deal with TrueCar, the automotive listing service, these days? I should look into that.”

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Welp, here’s the answer, summed up neatly in an Automotive News headline from last night: “TrueCar replaces CEO, lays off nearly a quarter of workforce”

Yikes. How did we get here? From the story:

TrueCar has been bleeding losses. In the first quarter, net losses grew to $19.6 million from a $12.4 million loss in the first quarter a year earlier and an $18.1 million loss in the fourth quarter.

The company made “this difficult decision after an extensive review” so TrueCar could “achieve its strategic priorities and create long-term shareholder value,” Carbone said. She also thanked Darrow for “his steadfast leadership and many contributions” to the company, including working as CEO permanently since 2020 and “through unprecedented challenges for our company and industry.”

This is something we’re going to see a lot more of going forward. Yesterday, the Fed decided not to raise rates, but it remains a difficult borrowing environment for companies. I was talking to a CEO friend yesterday whose startup is close to some big deals and is worried they’re not going to be able to get enough capital to make it to that point. I mean, even Pyrex is having trouble. Pyrex!

San Francisco Becomes First Market Area To Be 50% Electrified

Tesla recall
Photo credit: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

Here’s an interesting fact from our friends at industry intelligence firm S&P Global: This March the San Francisco Designated Market Area (DMA) became the first major DMA in known history to have more new vehicle registrations be electrified vehicles than gasoline-powered vehicles. A whopping 34.2% of registrations were electric cars and another 15.8% were hybrid, which makes 50%. Gasoline vehicles were only 48.6% of new registrations.

This makes sense, both because San Francisco is a left-leaning place where people care about the environment, as well as the fact that there’s a ton of money in San Fran and EVs are still expensive. From S&P’s report:

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One key demographic element among electrified buyers: They are well off financially. Almost half of San Francisco buyers (46.6%) enjoyed a household income of more $200,000, similar to the 39.9% for all EV buyers, but more than twice the ratio of non-San Francisco consumers at 22.6%. At the other end of the spectrum, only 15.7% of Bay Area buyers had household income of less than $75,000, close to the 14.7% for all EV buyers nationally but only half of the non-San Francisco average of 30.5%.

It’s the first time this happens. It won’t be the last.

FedEx Gets 50 Electric BrightDrop Vans For Canada

Fedex Brightdrop Zevo 600
Photo credit: FedEx

There’s been a lot of attention on the Rivian-based EV vans that Amazon is using, and those look great and seem to work. Quietly, though, GM’s BrightDrop EV commercial vanmaker has been delivering their own vehicles to FedEx. I’m a big fan of the company and of the Zevo 600. So far, there are about 400 of these running around Southern California and, actually, we saw one driving around Los Angeles this week.

According to The Detroit News, you can expect to see more of them in Canada as well:

FedEx, which has a goal to transition its entire fleet to all-electric, zero-tailpipe emissions vehicles by 2040, said the initial fleet of 50 EVs will service Toronto, Montreal and Surrey. FedEx Express Canada is planning to expand its EV fleet footprint as additional charging infrastructure is installed across the country.

Extremely cool.

The Flush

Assuming you needed/wanted to lease an Electric Vehicle and lived in California, what would VinFast have to do to persuade you to try out one of their vehicles? Is this enough? More?

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Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
11 months ago

I was talking to a CEO friend yesterday whose startup is close to some big deals

AAAAY LOOK AT MISTER FANCYPANTS OVER HERE. *sticks pinky out to make post*

Flush: Y’know, I just posted about the bicycle I named Reliable Transportation. Weirdly, the 411’s not bad, either, if I just need a (sketchy) car. If I could figure out how to drive the VinFast enough to profit from this breakdown deal…hell, I could use some profit right now. (Extremely hypothetical given that I have zero extra for another car right now.)

Dodsworth
Dodsworth
11 months ago

The best thing VinFast, or any company, could do is offer a 100% guaranteed etched in stone loaner car agreement. Having a car to drive is a lot better than waiting for a couple of hundred dollars to arrive via mail. Also, would that money be considered taxable income?

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
11 months ago

Oh Matt you deluded rose colored glasses optimist. First San Francisco only has that high percentage EV owners if you don’t count the 500,000 homeless people living and deficating in the streets. Frankly 50% of SF residents are homeless are they buying EVs and living in them? Considering a studio apt cost $4,500 a month and a shoebox house coste $1.5 million the $250,000 a year income is peanuts. Heck every business in San Fran has left or is leaving yeah residents better own a car if they want to eat.
Truecar a company offering cheaper cars for sale that sell for the same as every company that offers cars for sale.
As far as DT giving you an early morning ride to the airport? Now dont you feel bad picking on him for not knowing all the useless pointless gen xyz trivia you think is important? Next time if he hears a noise in the front end and asks you to go up front and check on it? Don’t do it.

Chris with bad opinions
Chris with bad opinions
11 months ago

Vinfast would have to give me the car for free and multiply those payouts by 10 for me to take the vehicle. It seems like the company is shady as shit and I don’t have time to deal with breakdowns. Am I being unreasonable? Of course, but that’s what it would take for me to own a POS like that.

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
11 months ago

The Vinfast cash deal makes me wonder what timeframe they’ll offer it in, and what rental cars go for these days.

S13 Sedan
S13 Sedan
11 months ago

Sign me up for that Vinfast deal. I work from home so don’t really need to be anywhere most days and I have other cars that work for when I do. Give me one with extra faults please, I’ll take a nice lemon lawed one if you have it.

Fix It Again Tony
Fix It Again Tony
11 months ago

The Vinfast website doesn’t even tell me where the repair facilities are located. I’m not going to consider getting one if I have to tow the car to the Bay Area to get serviced.

Gee See
Gee See
11 months ago

Probably do what Tesla does with roaming service techs and flatbeds for those really hard to fix things.

Lokki
Lokki
11 months ago

The Vinfast deal sounds real good – if you really don’t need to get anywhere at any specific time, and if you don’t mind waiting (A month? Six weeks?) for processing of your claim every time it happens. Note that it would also be really great if you live right next to a Vinfast dealership.

Otherwise, I can’t see the cash over-riding the headache of calling your boss every few (weeks?) about being late because your damn car is bricked again.

But, the check is in the mail… honest

Last edited 11 months ago by Lokki
Defenestrator
Defenestrator
11 months ago
Reply to  Lokki

These days it’s less risky at least. You can always just grab an Uber/Lyft if it dies and the $100 will more than cover it.

Emil Minty
Emil Minty
11 months ago

VinFastCash

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