Vietnamese electric car maker to start $4bn US plant this month

VinFast’s image of its future North Carolina site
Vietnamese car maker VinFast says it will break ground on its $4bn electric vehicle factory in North Carolina on 28 July.

VinFast is a subsidiary of construction, technology, and property conglomerate Vingroup, and the plant is the first part of an ambitious plan to compete in the North American market.

The factory will go up on a 730ha site at the Triangle Innovation Point in Chatham County. When complete in 2025, the $2bn first phase will be able to make 150,000 vehicles a year.

Last year, the company was awarded a $1.2bn incentive package from the State of North Carolina, along with financial support from the City of Sanford, Chatham County, and the Golden Leaf Foundation.

“We hope the construction of the factory in Chatham County will contribute to advancing the clean energy economy in the US and help to support North Carolina’s green mobility strategy,” said VinFast chief executive, Ms. Le Thi Thu Thuy.

VinFast is also building retail and service networks, organising local test drives, and holding marketing events throughout California.

The company currently has one manufacturing complex with 90% automation in the northern Vietnamese port city of Haiphong. It began shipping cars to California in March of this year.

The Vietnamese automaker expects to sell as many as 50,000 electric cars this year, a seven-fold increase on 2022, and to break even as soon as the end of 2024, the company’s founder has said.

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