Vietnamese EV maker VinFast’s debut Tuesday on the Nasdaq public exchange was nothing short of remarkable. The automaker, which went public via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Black Spade Acquisition, saw shares catapult 68% to close at $37.06 — giving it a valuation of $86 billion, a figure far above Ford, GM and Stellantis.
But the real stunner came Wednesday. Even after VinFast’s stock price plummeted 18.75% and closed at $30.11, the company was still holding onto a market cap that put it well ahead of other established automakers.
It’s an eyebrow-raising valuation for a young EV upstart that delivered just 11,300 vehicles in the first half of 2023. And its fundamentals show a company with costly ambitions that far outweigh revenue. VinFast wants to break into the U.S. marketplace on the retail and production fronts, a plan that includes building a $2 billion EV factory in North Carolina and opening up showrooms in California and other states.
So what’s driving investor interest and volatility? The search for the next Tesla certainly plays a role. But there may be other reasons afoot. As the WSJ noted, 90% of the SPAC’s investors took their money out of the deal before it was completed. Fewer shares available for trading means lots of room for big swings in the share price.
Share volatility is likely to continue for VinFast. But the real test will be in the years to come as VinFast attempts to scale production and sell Americans on its portfolio of EVs. That could be a rough road, considering that VinFast’s VF8 EV has been widely criticized for just about everything from ride quality to literally failing to operate.