Viet­nam has a pop­u­la­tion of 91 mil­lion, but the av­er­age an­nual wage is just £2300. Not, you would think, the ideal de­mo­graphic for launch­ing a pair of Bmw­based up­mar­ket ve­hi­cles.

But Vin­fast has al­ready iden­ti­fied a ris­ing do­mes­tic mid­dle-class that can af­ford its modern apart­ment blocks and fee-pay­ing schools. So they might well buy a Bmw-based na­tional car, in­stead of a more ex­pen­sive Mercedes. And who would un­der­es­ti­mate the de­mand for elec­tric scoot­ers?

Af­ter see­ing the scope of the new plant and the no-ex­pense-spared fac­tory equip­ment, it’s tempt­ing to think Vin­fast may well have its eye on con­tracts to build, say, su­per­mi­nis for the high­cost Euro­pean mar­ket.

Likely to pay wages of £400-£630 per month, Vin­fast has a cost ad­van­tage over Euro­pean fac­to­ries; this year, Skoda work­ers in the Czech Repub­lic got a 12% pay in­crease, push­ing monthly wages beyond £1500. That could give Vin­fast an edge to win over Euro­pean buy­ers.

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