(Bloomberg) -- Vietnamese billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong pledged to invest at least another $1 billion of his personal wealth into VinFast Auto Ltd., providing the capital needed for expansion of the struggling electric vehicle maker.

The move marks his strongest backing yet for the Vingroup JSC unit touted as a possible challenger to Tesla Inc.

“We will put all our resources into VinFast,” Vuong told a meeting of shareholders in Hanoi, without giving a timing for the cash infusion. He described VinFast as the future of Vingroup, and said there’s no question of letting the company go.

VinFast, which forayed into the US in 2022, has been bleeding cash as it fights with the likes of Tesla for a share of the increasingly competitive EV market. It’s investing $2 billion in a manufacturing plant in North Carolina, besides plans for factories in India and Indonesia.

Shares of US-listed VinFast, which surged as much as 700% within days of their debut in August last year, have been steadily dropping since September. Its market value has dropped more than 90% to $5.84 billion.

The bulk of VinFast’s sales so far have been mainly to related party units, and its goal of selling vehicles in as many as 50 markets by the end of this year faces headwinds amid fading interest from consumers for EVs.

Vuong, who holds an 18.08% stake in Vingroup, said the group plans to list its resort and hospitality unit Vinpearl JSC by the end of the year. The Vingroup chairman said he is also weighing an international listing of an affiliate taxi company — GSM Green and Smart Mobility Joint Stock Co — which has procured most of VinFast vehicles.

It wasn’t immediately clear if he plans to use proceeds from the sale of founder’s share, if any, to fund VinFast. Between 2017 and Dec. 31, 2023, Vuong, Vingroup and its affiliates have pumped $11.4 billion into VinFast, according to a filing.

Vuong forecast VinFast will break even or have positive gross profit in 2025. 

VinFast’s net loss narrowed to $618.3 million in the first quarter compared to the previous three months, though the loss was 3.5% higher from a year earlier.

VinFast delivered 9,689 cars in the first quarter, a 28% drop from the previous quarter. It delivered a total of 34,855 vehicles last year. The company reaffirmed its forecast of 100,000 vehicle deliveries in 2024.

The company in March agreed to sell a 41.5% stake in its shopping mall unit Vincom Retail. Vingroup will sell its investment unit SDI Trading Development and Investment Ltd., which holds a 99% stake in Sado Trading Commercial JSC that owns about a 41.5% in Vincom Retail. Vingroup will still hold about an 18.8% stake in Vincom Retail.

--With assistance from Ashutosh Joshi.

(Updates with context throughout.)

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