Holden sells proving grounds to surprising new company
Wednesday 9th September, 2020 - 2:23pm
You’ve probably never heard of VinFast, but the Vietnamese start-up just bought a big piece of Australian motoring history. The new brand, which claims to be its country’s first automotive manufacturer, has reportedly purchased the Holden proving grounds at Lang Lang in Victoria.
Lang Lang, as it was commonly referred, was a centrepiece for the development of every locally-made Holden model since it opened in 1957.
The facility, approximately an hour’s drive from Melbourne on the way to Phillip Island, consists of 44km of testing roads including both paved and unsealed, the famous 4.7km high-speed bowl and a number of engineering buildings inside its 877-hectares. Since the end of the locally-made Holden Lang Lang has been used by General Motors to help develop models for the rest of the world, including the V6 engines in current Cadillac models.
According to a report from Motoring, VinFast has closed on a deal to buy the facility as it looks to expand its current model line-up and move beyond its domestic market. VinFast was founded by Vietnam’s richest man, Pham Nhat Vuong, who became his nation’s first billionaire property developer through his Vingroup business.
VinFast only began operations in 2017 and has relied on help from a number of partners, including General Motors, which opened the door for the sale of the Lang Lang proving grounds.
The deal was seemingly in the works for months, with the company had already establishing VinFast Engineering Australia in February and hiring a number of former Holden, Ford and Toyota engineers left unemployed by the local industry’s demise.
Despite only operating for three years VinFast has already unveiled four models (based off BMW 5-Series and X5 architecture) and has plans to introduce its first electric vehicle. There’s no confirmation if VinFast will sell its cars in Australia, with the company publicly declaring the US market its first priority.