Vietnamese automaker Vinfast, part of Vingroup, said Tuesday it will build its first U.S. plant in North Carolina as part of the company’s previously announced plans to invest and expand in the country.
The automotive newcomer said it will spend about $2 billion on the first phase of the 1,976-acre facility in North Carolina and will continue to invest in subsequent phases. This first phase, which is expected to be completed in July 2024, will enable the production of 150,000 vehicles per year.
Winfast plans to produce two passenger cars at the plant, as well as electric buses, batteries for electric vehicles and ancillary production for suppliers.
VinFast VF 9, a 7-passenger all-electric SUV, and VinFast VF 8, a 5-passenger all-electric SUV that will incorporate blockchain technology for order registration and proof of ownership, will be built at the US plant. c As per Winfast’s Memorandum of Understanding with North Carolina. Prices for the VF9 and VF8 start at $56,000 and $41,000 respectively, the company said at CES in January.
VinFast has been fast and furious since its launch in 2017. Company Became the first domestic automaker in Vietnam when its gasoline models reached consumers in 2019. Winfast has since committed to producing electric vehicles only by the end of 2022.
This has made the US market one of its main targets – an ambitious venture that will compete with established companies such as GM, Ford and Tesla, as well as electric vehicle newcomers Rivian and Fisker.
At the Los Angeles Auto Show last November, Winfast showed off two electric crossovers that the company will bring to the US market later this year. At the time, the company announced plans to invest more than $200 million to open a US headquarters in Los Angeles this year, as well as more than 60 retail outlets, multiple service centers, and mobile service sites.
“Having manufacturing capacity in the market will help Winfast manage its supply chain, maintain stable prices and reduce product delivery times by making Winfast electric vehicles more accessible to customers, thereby achieving local environmental improvement goals.” This was stated by Vice President of Winggroup and CEO of Winfast Global Le Thi Thu Thu.
Winfast, which began selling electric vehicles in Vietnam in late 2021, plans to sell 42,000 vehicles worldwide this year. Winggroup recently started construction of a battery manufacturing plant in Ha Tin, Vietnam, which is expected to come online later this year with a capacity of 5 GWh per year. The company is also looking for a plant in Germany, as reported in January.