Vietnamese automaker VinFast has announced the location of its first electric vehicle manufacturing plant in North America.
The company has chosen Chatham County, North Carolina as the location for the facility, on which construction will begin in 2022 after the company gets the necessary permits. The factory, located at the Triangle Innovation Point mega site, will house both automotive assembly and battery manufacturing.
Covering an area of 1,977 acres, the plant will have three main areas: electric cars and buses production and assembly, EV batteries production, and ancillary industries for suppliers. VinFast will build two electric vehicles at the new plant, the VF 9 seven-passenger SUV and the VF 8 five-passenger midsize SUV.
Production is expected to start in July 2024, with the plant projected to reach an output of 150,000 vehicles per year in phase 1 at full capacity. VinFast intends to invest $2 billion in the project's first phase, creating thousands of jobs.
According to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with the government of North Carolina, VinFast will continue to invest in the factory in future phases, with total investment expected to reach $4 billion. Once up and running, the manufacturing plant will produce more than 250,000 vehicles per year and employ 7,500 people.
US President Joe Biden issued a short statement saluting VinFast's US investment (see tweet at the end of this page).
Gallery: VinFast VF 8 and VF 9 electric SUVs
"North Carolina is quickly becoming the center of our country's emerging, clean energy economy. VinFast's transformative project will bring many good jobs to our state, along with a healthier environment as more electric vehicles take to the road to help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper
Founded in 2017, VinFast describes itself as a global producer of premium automobiles. Headquartered in Hanoi, the carmaker owns a vehicle production facility in Haiphong, Vietnam, that is projected to reach a maximum capacity of 950,000 vehicles per year by 2026.
VinFast has established global operations in the US, Canada, Germany, France and the Netherlands. The company currently provides an ecosystem of EV products in its home country, including e-scooters, electric buses, electric cars, charging station network and green energy solutions.
"North Carolina's strong commitments in building a clean energy economy, fighting climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in transportation make it an ideal location for VinFast to develop its premium, smart and environmentally friendly EVs. Having a production facility right in the market will help VinFast to proactively manage its supply chain, maintain stabilized prices and shorten product supply time, making VinFast's Evs more accessible to customers, contributing to the realization of local environmental improvement goals."
Le Thi Thu Thuy, Vingroup Vice Chair and VinFast Global CEO
Recently, VinFast parent company Vingroup started construction of a battery plant in Ha Tinh, Vietnam, with a capacity of 5 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year. The facility is expected to be fully installed and running at full capacity from late 2022.