VinFast, a Vietnamese carmaker owned by Vingroup, said on Tuesday that it will open its first plant in the United States in North Carolina, as part of the company’s previously declared aspirations to invest and develop in the nation. The automaker said it will invest around $2 billion in the first phase of the 1,976-acre North Carolina facility and will continue to do so in subsequent phases.
The first phase, which is slated to be finished in July 2024, will have a production capacity of 150,000 automobiles per year. The facility will construct two passenger vehicles, as well as electric buses, batteries for electric vehicles, and associated industries for suppliers, according to VinFast.
According to VinFast’s memorandum of agreement with North Carolina, the VinFast VF 9, a 7-passenger all-electric SUV, and the VinFast VF 8, a 5-passenger all-electric midsize SUV with blockchain technology to record orders and prove ownership, will be constructed in the U.S. facility.
The VF 9 and VF 8 start at $56,000 and $41,000 in the United States, respectively, according to the company’s announcement at CES in January. Since its inception in 2017, VinFast has had a quick and furious ride. When its gas-powered vehicles hit the market in 2019, the firm became Vietnam’s first homegrown automobile producer. Since then, VinFast has said that by late 2022, it would solely produce electric vehicles.
It has also set the United States as one of its key objectives, an ambitious undertaking that will put it against established players such as GM, Ford, and Tesla, as well as EV newcomers Rivian and Fisker. VinFast debuted two electric crossovers at the LA Auto Show in November, announcing that they will be available in the United States later this year. The business has revealed plans to invest more than $200 million this year to create a Los Angeles-based headquarters, as well as more than 60 sales outlets, various service centers, and mobile service sites.
“Having a production facility right in the market will help VinFast to proactively manage its supply chain, maintain stable prices, and shorten product supply time, making VinFast’s EVs more accessible to customers and contributing to the realization of local environmental improvement goals,” said Le Thi Thu Thuy, Vingroup vice chair and VinFast global CEO. VinFast, which began selling electric vehicles in Vietnam at the end of 2021, expects to sell 42,000 vehicles globally this year. Vingroup has begun work of a 5 gigawatt-hour-per-year battery factory in Ha Tinh, Vietnam, which is anticipated to be operational later this year. In January, the business said that it is looking for a factory in Germany.