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Vietnam-Based VinFast Plans Chatham County, North Carolina, Auto Assembly-Battery Manufacturing Plant

Vietnam-based VinFast, a private automotive startup and a member of the conglomerate organization Vingroup, will locate its first North American automotive assembly and battery manufacturing plant at the Triangle Innovation Point megasite in Chatham County, North Carolina. The $2 billion project is expected to create 7,500 jobs.

The company will establish a major manufacturing center on a 1,977 acre campus for phase 1, with 3 main areas; electric cars and buses production and assembly, EVs batteries production, and ancillary industries for suppliers. Construction will start in 2022 after the construction permit is granted and production is expected to start in July 2024.

The capacity of phase 1 is expected to be 150,000 vehicle/year. According to the MOU, VinFast will continue to invest in this factory in various phases. Vehicles to be produced at the site include the VinFast VF 9, a 7-passenger all-electric Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) and the VinFast VF 8, a 5-passenger, all-electric mid-size SUV.

“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.” said Le Thi Thu Thuy, Vingroup Vice Chair and VinFast Global CEO. “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.”

The investment will officially be executed through a newly formed company and will be facilitated in part by a Transformative Job Development Investment Grant approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee. The project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by at least $71.59 billion over 32 years, the time period when the grant could be active.

“North Carolina is quickly becoming the center of our country’s emerging, clean energy economy,” said Governor Cooper. “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.”

Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, as well as a company investment of $4 billion, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $316.1 million, paid over a time period of 32 years. Like all grants from the JDIG program, any state payments only occur following performance verification each year by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets.

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. “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.”

In addition, the state also anticipates providing additional support to the project by means of a state appropriation of as much as $450 million, to cover site preparations, road improvements, and additional water and sewer infrastructure.

The JDIG agreement calls for moving as much as $36.6 million into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities anywhere in the state finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business.

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