Vietnamese carmaker VinFast buys Lang Lang proving ground

Lang Lang

GM Holden has agreed to sell its iconic Lang Lang vehicle proving ground to Vietnamese car maker VinFast.

Vietnamese carmaker, VinFast, no, we didn’t know Vietnam made cars either, has agreed to buy GM Holden’s iconic proving ground, Lang Lang. As part of the deal, VinFast has agreed to grant access to LandCare to continue its regeneration projects but also to former employees and Holden owner clubs.

More than that, GM Speciality Vehicles will make use of Lang Lang for ongoing testing and engineering of imported products.

GM Holden Interim Chairman and Managing Director Kristian Aquilina said, “The Lang Lang Proving Ground will continue to shape the global automotive industry,” said Mr Aquilina. “Over the past five years, GM has invested in the laboratories and tracks at the site, which will now be well utilised by its new owners.

“This deal hits a sweet spot of a fair sale value, a ready-made facility for VinFast’s needs, ongoing employment for departing Holden employees and the preservation of amenity for the community.

“In some ways, it’s the end of an era. We pay tribute to rich automotive history created at the Proving Ground, and the brilliant Holden people who worked there. At the same time, its genuinely pleasing to know there’s a bright future there as well,” Mr Aquilina concluded.

But what the hell is VinFast? Well, it was founded in 2017 by Vietnam’s richest man, Pham Nhat Vuong as another part of his Vingroup empire. It was built with the remains of GM Vietnam. It has, this week, revealed its Vietnam-only President SUV and has suggested the vehicle should be seen as the brand’s intention to go global. So, buying Lang Lang could be a major step to the brand moving beyond building rebadged vehicles in Vietnam to building stand-alone models we’ll see in Australian dealerships in the coming years.

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Isaac Bober has been writing about cars and 4x4s for more than 20 years, has worked on some of the country's biggest motoring magazines (remember what they were?), and launched Practical Motoring. Now he's back, back again... to share dad jokes and much more.