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An EV Maker You’ve Never Heard of Is Now the World’s Third-Most Valuable Car Company

It took less than two weeks for Vinfast to become the third-most valuable automaker in the world.

The Vietnamese EV maker’s share price soared by about 20 percent on Monday, according to Reuters. The company’s stock was selling at $82.35 at the end of trading, bringing its market cap to a remarkable $190 billion.

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Vinfast’s stock only debuted on the NASDAQ exchange on August 15. Since then, its value has more than quadrupled. Its sky-high market cap places it behind only Tesla (which had a market cap of $758 billion) and Toyota ($226.3 billion) among automakers, and ahead of much more established names like Mercedes-Benz ($77.8 billion), Volkswagen ($61.9 billion) and Ford ($47.6 billion).

The company’s stock isn’t just performing well compared to other automakers, either. Vinfast’s market cap at the end of trading on Monday meant that it was bigger than half the companies on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, according to Bloomberg. This includes some of the most well-known companies in the world, like Walt Disney Co. ($154 billion on Monday), Boeing ($137billion) and Goldman Sachs ($107.5 billion).

Vinfast’s stock has taken off in part because only a relatively small number of shares are publicly available. Vietnamese richest person, Pham Nhat Vuong, owns 99.7 percent of Vinfast, according to Reuters. Because of this, performance of the stock has proven to be quite volatile. The company’s stock rose or fell by more than 14 percent nearly every day it’s been traded.

This volatility has led some to label Vinfast a “meme stock.” Barron’s points out that the company is far from profitable, and it has a small fraction of the production capacity of its competitors. The company is also trying to enter the U.S. and European markets at a time when EV sales are starting to slow too. The early reviews of its first stateside model, the VF 8, have also been terrible, almost across the board.

Sure enough, another day of trading brought another wild swing in the performance of the company’s stock. As of Tuesday afternoon, Vinfast was trading at $47.10 per share, which is nearly 43 percent lower than its closing price from Monday. Of course, by Wednesday, it wouldn’t be a surprise if things are on the upswing again.

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