VinFast, the Vietnamese carmaker that wants to sell up to four models on the North American market, announced it will push back its plan to build an electric vehicles and batteries factory until 2025.
The original plan was to have the $4 billion facility in Chatham County, North Carolina operational by July 2024, but now the Vietnamese Vingroup cited a procedural delay, stopping short of offering a specific date when the plant is expected to become operational in 2025.
"We need more time to complete administrative procedures," VinFast said in a statement. Earlier this year, the company founded in 2017 was granted an Air Permit from local authorities to start construction, but it still needs a permit from the United States Army Corps of Engineers designed to minimize damage to water quality and wetlands.
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In July 2022, Chatham County awarded VinFast a $1.2 billion incentive package, the largest in the history of North Carolina state, with the company claiming it would invest up to $2 billion for the first phase which was supposed to begin in 2022.
VinFast’s American factory plan includes three distinct areas across the nearly 2,000-acre site – electric vehicle and bus production (and assembly), EV battery production, and ancillary facilities for suppliers. With this new factory, the firm’s customers would benefit from the potential $7,500 tax credit offered to buyers of US-made new EVs.
The Vietnamese company experienced a series of setbacks in its US expansion, which includes several delays in deliveries, staff cuts, and a recall for Vietnamese-bound vehicles, with the carmaker taking the necessary steps to remedy the brake-related problem on the cars destined for the US market, too.
On March 1, 2023, VinFast delivered the first batch of 45 VF 8 vehicles from the 999 cars shipped from Vietnam, with the second batch scheduled to reach customers in the second quarter of 2023.
The young car company launched two all-electric crossovers on the American market in 2022 – the two-row VF 8 and the bigger, three-row VF 9 – and aims to introduce two additional, smaller models in the United States – the VF 6 and VF 7.
Source: Reuters via Autoblog