It’s a done deal! The Lang Lang Proving Grounds in Victoria is now owned by the Vietnamese automotive company VinFast.
Back in June of this year, Carpart.Com.Au first reported about VinFast’s investments in Australia. At the time, the foreign start-up had already established its engineering hub, VinFast Engineering Australia, at the Port of Melbourne. The company saw great potential in the country’s pool of automotive talents and workforce. So, it wasted no time in hiring some of the best engineers, managers, and skilled technical people from the now-defunct Holden, Ford, and Toyota manufacturing companies in Australia.
Many observers welcomed the move as a much-needed lifeline for the Aussie automotive industry which was still reeling from the closure of these car manufacturing facilities.
Around that time, there was already plenty of talk going around about VinFast’s interest in Holden’s Lang Lang Proving Grounds. That testing ground has an area of around 877 hectares, which Holden previously owned and operated as its test centre. With VinFast’s ambitions of becoming a global car brand, they will undoubtedly need and benefit from their very own testing grounds.
At the rate that VinFast is expanding globally, it needs a good location for its research and development activities. And they could not have made a better choice than Lang Lang. The site itself is said to be both the oldest and the most modern car testing grounds anywhere in the world. Back in 2018, the site received a thorough makeover to upgrade all of its facilities, which Holden used to develop and test their new models. Lang Lang itself includes paved and unpaved roads, as well as a vast skid pan and a high-speed banked circular track. This facility is capable of simulating all sorts of driving environments to measure a car’s performance and push its limits.
On the research side of things, the location also includes a brand new emissions laboratory. With this top-tier lab, a car manufacturer like VinFast could develop their vehicles to meet even the strictest emissions standards anywhere in the world.
As reported previously, there were no government initiatives to help in reviving the Aussie auto industry, let alone act on opportunities presented by existing assets like the Holden Lang Lang proving grounds. As things unfold, however, there seems to be a silver lining to this neglect or disregard.
The way that VinFast conducts its expansion in Australia is generating goodwill that even extends beyond the auto industry. It company has committed to protect the local environment around Lang Lang by facilitating community activities to nurture the bushland. Most importantly (to Holden enthusiasts, that is), VinFast has also stated that it will allow continued access for Holden car clubs and former employees to the site on open days and enjoy all that the Lang Lang proving ground offers.
Bear in mind that this automotive startup began producing cars barely a year ago in July, so there’s no question that VinFast is growing at a rapid pace. More than anything else, it’s impressive how they’re handling the purchase of the Lang Lang proving grounds very well by showing respect towards the community, the workers, and even Holden car clubs! So far, so good, and we join in cheering on this new player as it grows in an industry that has seen and gone through a lot! Read more about news like this at Carpart.com.au!
By Ray Hasbollah