Vietnamese EV automaker VinFast will kick off a slew of firsts in North Carolina next week, as it will officially break ground on a previously announced production facility – its first in North America.
It’s been a somewhat bumpy road for VinFast recently – but when driving, speed bumps hurt a lot more when you’re going fast – and VinFast’s mode of operation matches its namesake. After a quick hockey stick in sales figures after beginning deliveries of its VF 8 EV in the US – a recall for the entire first batch slowed everything down.
The young automaker is now compensating customers who encounter issues with their new EV – not the most financially sustainable business strategy for the long term, but VinFast’s wallet remains flush thanks to the billionaire owner of its parent VinGroup, as well as a recent SPAC merger at an equity value over $23 billion.
While VinFast continues to expand its market reach globally, all of its EVs are currently being built in Vietnam and shipped over. Soon(ish), however, VinFast intends to begin delivering EVs to US consumers that are built locally at an incoming production facility in North Carolina announced last summer.
VinFast initially vowed to invest up to $2 billion in the first phase of the site, targeting a breaking of the ground in September 2022 ahead of a start of production in mid-2024. After getting the green light to begin construction this past February however, the automaker delayed a start of US production until 2025.
That timeline is where we currently stand, as VinFast now approaches a ground breaking ceremony at its future production site in North Carolina. Here’s what it will look like:
VinFast breaks ground July 28, EV production set for 2025
When its dignitaries and (assumedly) state officials dig their shovels into the North Carolina dirt next week, they will commence a three year process that should deliver the state its first-ever production facility.
The new plant comes as a result of a $1.2 billion incentives package awarded to VinFast by North Carolina last summer – the largest package in the state’s 234 year history. Phase 1, for which VinFast is currently permitted, will consist of two areas: EV production and assembly. The site will cover roughly 1,800 acres in Chatham County and reach an annual output of 150,000 vehicles. VinFast CEO Madam Le Thi Thu Thuy spoke to the upcoming production milestone:
The manufacturing facility in North Carolina is one of VinFast’s key projects. When it begins operations, the factory will be VinFast’s primary supplier of electric vehicles to the North American market, allowing us to optimize production and business activities. 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.
In addition to the new production facility, VinFast says it will continue to expand its retail and service presence in North America. The automaker currently only sells its EVs on the West Coast in California and Vancouver. As previously mentioned, US EV production is currently set to begin in North Carolina in 2025.
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