VinFast, the Vietnamese electric car producer, and the government of North Carolina have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the establishment of VinFast’s first North American manufacturing plant. The company intends to invest up to $2 billion in the project’s first phase which will create thousands of jobs.
VinFast, founded in 2017, is a global producer of premium automobiles. Headquartered in Hanoi, the carmaker boasts a state-of-the-art vehicle production facility in Haiphong, Vietnam, that will have the capacity to produce 950,000 vehicles per year by 2026.
VinFast’s new North American factory will create a major manufacturing centre in Chatham County’s Triangle Innovation Point megasite. This covers an area of 800-hectares, with three main areas, which include electric car and electric bus production and assembly, electric vehicle battery production and ancillary industries for suppliers.
Construction for the first phase of the factory will start in 2022 after a construction permit is granted and production is expected to start in July 2024. The capacity of phase one is expected to be around 150,000 vehicles per year.
According to the MOU, VinFast will continue to invest in this factory in future phases. Vehicles to be produced at the site include the VinFast VF 9, a seven-passenger all-electric sport utility vehicle (SUV) and the VinFast VF 8, a 5-passenger, all-electric mid-size SUV.
Roy Cooper, North Carolina Governor, said: “North Carolina is quickly becoming the centre 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.”
Machelle Baker Sanders, North Carolina Commerce Secretary, said: “Automotive assembly plants are incredible engines for economic growth, due to the positive ripple effects they create across a region’s economy.
”I’m so pleased that VinFast has decided to launch their North America manufacturing operations from our state, and we’ll work hard to make sure they find the skilled workforce they’ll need to grow and thrive in North Carolina.”
VinFast has established global operations in the US, Canada, Germany, France and the Netherlands. The company currently provides an ecosystem of electric vehicle products in its home country of Vietnam. These include e-scooters, electric buses and electric cars, charging station systems and green energy solutions.
Le Thi Thu Thuy, Vingroup Vice Chair and VinFast Global CEO, said: “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 stabilised prices and shorten product supply time, making VinFast’s Evs more accessible to customers, contributing to the realisation of local environmental improvement goals.”