A Vietnamese Company Could Save A Thousand Holden's Aussie Workers
There is a new name on the market that now Australian motoring enthusiasts should take note of – VinFast.
Despite the name still looks searchable on the market, VinFast is young, relatively unknown to the international as well as Australian market, but extremely well-funded car company that is on its hiring spree, snapping up almost 100 former best engineers of Holden, Totoya and Ford after opening its office in Melbourne. They also announced plans for research and development facilities of electric vehicles as well resided in Melbourne.
So, who is VinFast that seems to make big brands in the industry have to be aware of? VinFast is a three-year old division of privately-owned Vingroup, which has headquarter based in Hanoi, Vietnam with assets totalling $35 billion. Vingroup was founded by Vietnam’s richest man, Mr. Pham Nhat Vuong, and the man in charge of operating VinFast is ex-General Motors heavyweight Jim DeLuca, whom as well took his people with him to the new company. VinFast’s head of design, Dave Lyon; VP of planning and program management, Roy Flecknell; head of engineering department, Kevin Fisher - all formerly collected pay checks from GM.
The most senior Australian name in VinFast is heavy-hitting executive, Shaun Calvert, who is another ex-GM executive, whom is now the company’s vice-president of manufacturing.
(Image Source: Wheels Magazine)
With GM leaving Australian shore, making a shock decision to axe about 800 Holden employees, then VinFast has stepped in at right time making the most out of this lifetime opportunity. DeLuca told in an interview that the brand aims to bring in a few hundred engineers at its new Australian facilities.
“Australia is a well-developed automobile market which has almost available suppliers, skills that VinFast wants to tap into,” DeLuca told carsales.com.au.
VinFast has built a brand-new manufacturing of cars in Hanoi from scratch. The land was once water three years ago, but now housing VinFast’s 335 hactare campus including international office. The company has brokered a deal with General Motors to grant an exclusive right distribution of Chevrolet vehicles in Vietnam, as well as taking over ownership of the GM manufacturing facility, dealer network, and employee base.
Despite its Vietnamese roots, VinFast’s ambitions are international. They expect to sell cars in the US by 2021, and its new Australian headquarter is a bridge helping them fasten that reach. In a statement, VinFast said the research of development of new car models, including both internal combustion engine and battery electric vehicles will be on focus of Australian operations. It said the reason they chose Melbourne as its first offshore satellite was because the city has been headquarters for a number of giant car manufacturers such as Toyota, Ford, Mitsubishi and GM.
“Melbourne has almost all available facilities, complete supply chains and experienced human resources with profound expertise and knowledge of the auto industry. Not only possessing new proving grounds and large wind tunnel available for aerodynamic testing of automakers, Melbourne also has a seaport – the gateway to export cars around the world.”