Three top sales and customer-service employees have left VinFast, a Vietnamese electric vehicle (EV) startup, this week, the business announced on Friday.
The recent executive changes for the aspirational Vietnamese carmaker include the departures. Additionally, they follow a costly and delayed rollout of VinFast’s initial EVs in California, the company’s first foreign market.
Gareth Dunsmore, deputy chief executive for worldwide sales and marketing, quit “due to personal reasons and we accept his choice,” VinFast said in a statement to Reuters.
VinFast said two other U.S.-based leaders had resigned because of “changes in the management approach and unique business requirements”: Greg Tebbutt, who had been chief marketing officer, and Craig Westbrook, former chief service officer.
It was impossible to get in touch with Dunsmore, Tebbutt, or Westbrook for comment right away.
The company, a division of the conglomerate Vingroup JSC (VIC.HM), shipped 999 of its VF8 SUVs from Vietnam to California in November but had to wait until earlier this month to get them ready for delivery to customers after admitting the vehicle would have a shorter battery life than it had previously warned buyers about.
In order to reflect the reduced price range, VinFast has been leasing out the initial batch of VF8s under the City Edition name in California. Later this year, a longer-range VF8 variant is anticipated to be released.
The business is attempting to enter the U.S. EV market at a time when well-established rivals, led by Tesla (TSLA.O), are lowering prices and getting ready to introduce a number of new models.
Competing EV firms including Lucid (LCID.O), Rivian (RIVN.O), and Nikola (NKLA.O), a manufacturer of electric trucks, have been under pressure from declining orders, rising interest rates, and growing competition.
VinFast combined its operations in the US and Canada in February, eliminating about 80 roles, including that of Rodney Haynes, a former US chief financial officer.
In June, VinFast announced that it had terminated its agreement with Emmanuel Brett, who had replaced Dunsmore as deputy CEO for worldwide sales. At that time, three additional top executives also quit.
Before the first cars from the company were delivered to consumers in the United States, Huy Chieu, a former General Motors (GM.N) engineer who was elevated in June to manage EV product development, quit in December.
Since its establishment in 2017, VinFast has also had three CEOs.
The business, which started producing in 2019, intends to erect a facility in North Carolina and has applied to sell its shares in an IPO in this country.
According to a registration filing for an IPO, VinFast lost $2.1 billion in 2022 while having $634 million in revenue.