Bloomberg reports: Vietnamese electric vehicle maker – VinFast – said it will start building a factory in North Carolina this year.
VinFast Global General Director Le Thi Thu Thuy said that the factory will be located at Triangle Innovation Point, Chatham County (North Carolina). The plant is expected to come online in the second half of 2024 and the initial investment will amount to $2 billion. This announcement comes ahead of VinFast’s IPO plan in the US.
“We have started the design and are rushing to finalize the plan to build the factory, and the goal is to start production from July 2024,” Ms. Thuy said.
VinFast founder Pham Nhat Vuong has pledged to spend $2 billion of his fortune for the purpose of selling cars to Americans.
“It’s a bold move and contains many risks when many others have made plans to invest heavily in electric vehicle factories and then failed,” – Bloomberg assessed.
The North Carolina factory is part of a planned complex in the US, which Thuy says will have a total investment of up to $6 billion. This CEO did not disclose the specific location and time. VinFast said in a statement on March 29 that a building permit is still required.
US President Joe Biden tweeted a White House statement about VinFast’s North Carolina plans, which they called a $4 billion investment that would create more than 7,000 jobs.
The factory will have a production capacity of 150,000 electric cars per year, and will also produce electric buses and batteries, Ms. Thuy said. This will be VinFast’s second car factory after the factory in Hai Phong, Vietnam. The company expects to start battery production at its factory in Ha Tinh by the end of this year, she said.
VinFast aims to start distributing cars in the US, Canada, France, Germany and the Netherlands by the end of 2022. Prices for its VF8 and VF9 electric SUVs will range from $41,000 to $61,000. VinFast started delivering the first electric cars in the country in December.
Ken Foong, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence in Singapore, said in a February 11 study that VinFast’s global sales of electric vehicles could drive long-term growth for Vingroup.
Ms. Thuy, who is also a Vice President of Vingroup, said the company aims to sell a total of about 700,000 to 1 million electric vehicles within five to six years. She said that VinFast has received 50,000 orders globally for the VF8 and VF9 models.
VinFast’s goal can be said to be ambitious compared to other car manufacturers. Electric car start-up Nio (China) just reached the milestone of the 100,000th car in April 2021, after nearly 3 years. Many other businesses have even failed to try to implement similar plans.
VinFast started selling petrol cars in Vietnam in 2019. The company once announced it would stop producing petrol cars. VinFast sold 35,723 petrol cars in Vietnam last year, and sold about 30,000 units in 2020.
VinFast said that it is working with investment banks to prepare for an IPO, making them one of the first Vietnamese companies to go public in the US.