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Mar 30, 2022 / 17:06

US President welcomes VinFast factory in North Carolina

The company intends to invest up to $2 billion in the first phase of its project at the Triangle Innovation Point megasite in Chatham County.

US President Joe Biden has welcomed VinFast, a Vietnamese automaker, to build its first factory in North Carolina as part of its investment strategy to expand its US operations.

 The launching of the event in Los Angeles last November. Photo: VinFast

US President Biden tweeted on March 29: “Today, Vinfast announced it will build an electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facility in North Carolina - US$4 billion to create more than 7,000 jobs. It’s the latest example of my economic strategy at work.” 

According to the White House’s official statement released on the same day, President Biden said that since taking office he has promoted an industrial strategy to revitalize domestic manufacturing and create jobs, strengthen American supply chains, and supercharge industries of the future like electric vehicles (EV).

“We see that strategy paying off day after day. Last year, I signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build out EV charging infrastructure and brought together the United Autoworkers and automakers at the White House to sign an executive order to get 50% electric vehicle sales share in 2030,” the president said in the statement.

 Screenshot by Nhat Khanh.

Governor Roy Cooper and Vingroup Vice Chair and VinFast Global CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy announced its first factory in the US during an event at the new Raleigh Convention Center on March 29.

“North Carolina is quickly becoming the center of our country’s emerging, clean energy economy,” said Governor 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.”

The company intends to invest up to $2 billion in the first phase of its project at the Triangle Innovation Point megasite in Chatham County. It will continue to pump more capital in future phases. 

VinFast’s factory will create a major manufacturing center on a 1,977 acre (800 hectares) plot for phase 1 with three main areas: electric cars and buses production and assembly, EVs batteries production, and ancillary industries for suppliers.

Construction on phase 1 will start this year after the construction permit is granted and production is expected to start in July 2024. The capacity of phase 1 is expected to be 150,000 vehicles/year. Vehicles to be produced at the site include the VinFast VF 9, a 7-passenger all-electric Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) and the VinFast VF 8, a 5-passenger, all-electric mid-size SUV.

The firm plans to produce two-passenger vehicle models at the factory, as well as electric buses, batteries for electric vehicles, and maps out ancillary industries for suppliers.

At the Los Angeles Auto Show last November, VinFast stated it would bring its production to the US  later this year and planned to invest more than $200 million to open a US headquarters based in Los Angeles, as well as more than 60 sales locations, multiple service centers and mobile service sites this year.

The Vietnamese company intends to establish its management team and hire more than 400 employees at its headquarters and a regional office in Los Angeles within the next several years. 

In addition, it is investing in a call center, and a network of storefronts to help introduce the brand and products to American customers and expand investment plans in the future.

VinFast, which started selling EVs in Vietnam at the end of 2021, is targeting global EV sales of 42,000 vehicles this year. 

Vingroup recently started construction of a battery plant in Vietnam’s central province of Ha Tinh, which is expected to start operating later this year with a capacity of 5-gigawatt hours per year. Founded in 2017, the company has established global operations in the US, Canada, Germany, France and the Netherlands.