Electric Vehicle Manufacturer to Invest Up to $2 Billion in North Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. — Vietnamese auto manufacturer VinFast has selected North Carolina as the site of its first North American automotive assembly and battery manufacturing plant.
In announcing the decision at the new Raleigh Convention Center, VinFast Global CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy said the company plans to invest up to $2 billion in the first phase of the project, and that once completed the facility will support about 7,500 jobs.
The plant, which will be located at North Carolina’s Triangle Innovation Point “megasite” in Chatham County, will be the state’s first car manufacturing plant and is the largest economic development announcement in its history.
“North Carolina is quickly becoming the center of our country’s emerging, clean energy economy,” Gov. Roy Cooper said at the event.
“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,” he added.
VinFast’s 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 stabilized prices and shorten product supply time, making VinFast’s EVs more accessible to customers, contributing to the realization of local environmental improvement goals,” she added.
VinFast’s factory will create a major manufacturing center taking up about 1,977 acres — enough room to assemble electric cars and buses while also producing EV batteries and providing space for ancillary suppliers.
Construction for phase one of the factory will begin later this year and production is expected to start in July 2024.
Le Thi Thu Thuy said the company’s initial goal is to produce about 150,000 vehicles a year at the site.
According to the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the state, VinFast will continue to invest in this factory in various phases.
Vehicles to be produced at the site include the VinFast VF 9, a seven-passenger all-electric Sport Utility Vehicle and the VinFast VF 8, a five-passenger, all-electric mid-size SUV.
The North Carolina Department of Commerce coordinated the state’s recruitment of VinFast, which also involved state, regional and local organizations.
“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 in a written statement.
“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,” Sanders said.
VinFast, founded in 2017 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup, is a global producer of premium automobiles.
Headquartered in Hanoi, Vietnam, with a state-of-the-art vehicle production facility in Hai Phong, Vietnam, that has the capacity to produce 950,000 vehicles per year by 2026.
At the White House, Kate Bedingfield, the administration’s director of communications, said during a briefing with reporters that the announcement was cause to celebrate.
“We’re building … momentum with the bipartisan infrastructure law — which is making historic investments in our roads, bridges, airports and more — along with things like EV charging stations that are critical for America to own emerging industries,” she said.
Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.
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