HANOI — Vietnam’s electric-vehicle maker VinFast said on Thursday it will launch promotions to protect the market competitiveness of its models, a week after Tesla announced aggressive discounting to spur demand.

VinFast, which started operations in 2019, is gearing up to expand in the United States, where it hopes to compete with existing automakers by offering two models, the VF8 and VF9, which have starting prices of $59,000 and $83,000, respectively.

Tesla is offering its basic Model Y at $52,990 in the U.S. market, a reduction from $65,990.

“As a new brand entering the market, when other brands reduce their prices we have to come up with promotions to ensure VinFast’s competitiveness,” a VinFast spokesperson said in a statement.

“We are considering many promotion programs and will announce soon.”

The statement did not specify whether the promotions would include price cuts.

The Vietnamese EV maker started to ship its first batch of 999 EVs to the United States in late November and aims to deliver them to customers this month, the spokesperson said.

VinFast has said it has secured almost 65,000 orders globally and expects to sell 750,000 EVs annually by 2026.

The automaker plans to build an EV plant in the U.S. state of North Carolina and is awaiting final regulatory approval from local officials.

(Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Editing by Ed Davies)

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