Vietnam’s VinFast to build US$2b electric vehicle factory in US

A VinFast VF 5 electric vehicle is displayed at the CES electronics convention on January 5, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada ALEX WONG GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File

HANOI/SAN FRANCISCO: Vietnam’s carmaker VinFast said yesterday it has signed a preliminary deal to initially invest US$2 billion (RM8.43 billion) to build a factory in North Carolina to make electric buses, sport utility vehicles (SUV) along with batteries for electric vehicles (EV).

The unit of Vietnam’s biggest conglomerate Vingroup, said it plans to have a total investment of US$4 billion in its first US factory complex.

Construction should begin this year as soon as the company gets necessary permits, and is expected to finish by July 2024. The plant’s initial capacity will be 150,000 units per year, Vinfast said.

“With a manufacturing facility right in the US market, VinFast can stabilise prices and shorten product delivery time, making our EVs more accessible to customers,” said Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy, Vingroup vice chair and VinFast Global CEO.

VinFast has begun taking pre-orders globally for two electric SUV with a goal to begin delivering them in the fourth quarter.

US President Joe Biden said the VinFast investment, which will create more than 7,000 jobs, is “the latest example of my economic strategy at work.”

“It builds on recent announcements from companies like GM, Ford, and Siemens to invest in America again and create jobs,” said Biden, who set an ambitious goal for half of new car sales to be electric by 2030.

This will be North Carolina’s first car plant and it is the largest economic development announcement in the state’s history, the governor’s office said in a statement.

VinFast said prices for its VF8 sport SUV started from US$41,000 in the United States. By comparison, a Tesla SUV sells for around US$63,000. VinFast is targeting global electric vehicle sales of 42,000 this year.

VinFast is betting big on the US market, where it hopes to compete with legacy carmakers and startups with affordable electric SUV and a battery leasing model.

VinFast, which became Vietnam’s first fully fledged domestic car manufacturer in 2019, plans to transition to all-electric vehicle production from late 2022.

Outside of North America, the company is looking for a plant in Germany, it said in January.

The carmaker is a subsidiary of Vietnam’s largest private conglomerate, Vingroup, which is owned by Pham Nhat Vuong, the country’s richest man with a fortune Forbes estimates as US$6.3 billion. – Reuters, AFP

Source: The Sun Daily


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