Vietnamese Electric Vehicle Startup VinFast Signs MoU With North Carolina Officials to Build its U.S. Factory in the State
【Summary】Vietnamese electric vehicle startup VinFast, a subsidiary of conglomerate Vingroup, announced that it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government of North Carolina for the establishment of VinFast’s first North American EV manufacturing plant in the state. VinFast’s North Carolina factory will create a major EV manufacturing hub in Chatham County’s Triangle Innovation Point megasite.
Vietnamese electric vehicle startup VinFast, a subsidiary of conglomerate Vingroup, announced that it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government of North Carolina for the establishment of VinFast's first North American EV manufacturing plant in the state.
The plant will have the capacity to build 150,000 electric vehicles a year.
The North Carolina Department of Commerce helped coordinate the state's recruitment of VinFast to build its factory there, which also involved cooperation between state, regional, and local organizations.
North Carolina's Economic Investment Committee voted to approve an incentive package worth a total of more than $850 million for VinFast's automotive and electric battery assembly factory in Chatham County.
VinFast's North Carolina factory will create a major EV manufacturing hub in Chatham County's Triangle Innovation Point megasite, covering a total area of 1,977 acres, with 3 main areas: electric vehicle and bus production, assembly and EV battery production.
According to the MoU, VinFast will continue to invest in the factory in future phases.
The company intends to invest up to $2 billion in the project's first phase, creating thousands of jobs. Construction of phase 1 will start in 2022 after a construction permit is granted and vehicle production is expected to start in July, 2024.
"North Carolina is quickly becoming the center of our country's emerging, clean energy economy," said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. "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."
VinFast was founded in 2017. The company says its strongly committed to a sustainable future for everyone with its advanced smart services, seamless customer experience, and affordable pricing strategy to inspire customers to jointly create a future of smart and sustainable electric mobility.
The company has already established global operations in the US, Canada, Germany, France and the Netherlands. VinFast currently builds EVs in its home country of Vietnam, including e-scooters, electric buses and electric cars, along with charging stations and green energy solutions.
VinFast owns a state-of-the-art automotive manufacturing complex in Hai Phong, Vietnam that will have the capacity to produce 950,000 EVs per year by 2026. VinFast completed construction of the factory and developed its first three car models in just 21 months.
VinFast plans to launch global showrooms in the US, Canada and Europe., which is one of the reasons the company is looking to build a factory in the U.S. and tap into the growing EV segment.
"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," said Le Thi Thu Thuy, Vingroup Vice Chair and VinFast Global CEO.
VinFast already launched its VF e34 compact SUV for the Vietnamese market in 2021.
Global vehicles slated to be produced in North Carolina include the VinFast VF 9, a 7-passenger fully-electric Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), along with the VF 8, a smaller 5-passenger, mid-size SUV.
VinFast unveiled the two new models at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Nov 2021, which were co-designed with Italian firm Pininfarina.The two electric SUVs will first go on sale in Europe, in the second half of the year, but are scheduled to reach the U.S. by the end of the year.
The EV maker also introduced three additional EVs (the VF 5, VF 6 and VF 7) at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The five models allow VinFast to serve all five major vehicle segments, from small crossover to full-size SUVs, according to the company.
"Automotive assembly plants are incredible engines for economic growth, due to the positive ripple effects they create across a region's economy," said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. "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."
The project in North Carolina affirms VinFast's commitment in investing and developing business in its international markets in general and the US in particular. It will also ensure VinFast's self-reliance in global manufacturing.
Recently, 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.
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