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Vietnam's VinFast debuts its first two models

Vietnam has its first global car maker, with two models today debuted by VinFast ahead of a Paris Motor Show debut.

And if the two models - an as-yet unnamed SUV and sedan - don't look like first attempts, it's because VinFast had some handy help when it came to penning their designs.

Billed as "premium models", both cars were designed in collaboration with famed Italian design house Pininfarina - a name more often associated with supercar brands rather than Vietnamese start-ups.

It might sound like Vin Diesel was somebody's favourite cast member in The Fast and The Furious franchise, but VinFast is actually a subsidiary of Vingroup, the largest private enterprise in Vietnam, and one traditionally focused on real estate. But with automotive manufacturing now in its sights, the firm is hoping to have wheels on the road in Vietnam by September 2019, before exporting to international markets.

We know little about the two new models other than what they look like, but even that's been approached in a different way. VinFast handed design control over to the people, presenting 20 sketches from four different design houses. More than 62,000 people voted, and the winning sketch was then handed on to Pininfarina.

“The strong, distinguishable design, enhanced by elegant lines and refined details, gives our cars several distinctive highlights,” says VinFast director of design, David Lyon.

“First and foremost, these emanate around the V logo in the grille which references the country of Vietnam, as well as the Vingroup and VinFast brands. In conjunction with Pininfarina, we have carefully sculptured each body line to express the natural beauty of Vietnam and the warm-hearted and dynamic characteristics of its people through a modern and world-class design language.”

Expect the VinFast duo to debut at the Paris show on October 2.

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