Electric vehicle upstart VinFast is doing everything in its power to make a lasting impact in North America. The automaker's latest concept unveiled Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a pickup called the VF Wild, is further proof of that. Unfortunately, the company's own caginess about a release date, as well as its struggles to launch its EVs in the U.S. to begin with, leave us skeptical of the truck's future.
On its face, the VF Wild is a handsome midsize pickup, with futuristic features like pillarless, rear-hinged doors and flashy interior design befitting of a concept. It would ideally challenge the Rivian R1T, as its five-foot bed is half a foot longer than the R1T's, and its folding mid-gate increases maximum load space to eight feet. The VF Wild's cabin is futuristic yet ornate, draped in tan leather and gold accents that seem unlikely to make it to production, if the truck makes it that far. And what we can see is just about all there is to say on the VF Wild, as VinFast's offered precious little information surrounding its first pickup. At the time of publishing, it hadn't even issued a press release announcing it.
VinFast's short tenure in the U.S. has been fraught with problems, and lately it's been in the news for all the reasons you wouldn't want to be. The company's first car sold Stateside, the VF8 SUV, has been broadly panned by critics and already the subject of a sweeping recall. The vast majority of its global sales have been to a sister company owned by the same billionaire, and in its home Vietnam, VinFast has reportedly called the police on critics on more than one occasion. Despite these hurdles, the automaker has moved quickly to set up an independent dealer network here in the U.S., and broke ground on a prospective factory in North Carolina last July.
At the moment, there's no official timeframe on when the VF Wild might be sold to customers, or if VinFast's even working on a production version to begin with. At CES, the company also announced that its tiny, Suzuki Jimny-aping VF3 electric SUV is apparently due for arrival in the States, and representatives previously suggested that EV could start under $20,000. All of these pitches sound fantastic on paper, and the VF Wild doesn't even look half bad from the outside. But until VinFast can answer back to skepticism by satisfying owners, reporting a respectable number of sales to an entity other than itself, and stamping out the VF8's quality control issues, perhaps the VF Wild better stay on the drawing board.
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