Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer VinFast broke ground on its first U.S. factory on July 28, kicking off a two-year process to create a production and supply chain center in North America.
The North Carolina construction site occupies roughly 1,800 acres in Chatham County. The factory, set to open in 2025, will initially make the VF 7, VF 8 and VF 9 models. The facility is expected to manufacture 150,000 electric vehicles annually and will feature five production centers; a body shop, a general assembly line, a press shop, a paint shop and an energy center.
Madam Lê Thị Thu Thủy, CEO of VinFast, attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction site. “Today’s event marks a new milestone for VinFast, affirming r commitment to the North American market,” she told attendees. “Not only will this project create thousands of jobs and contribute to North Carolina’s economic development, but VinFast’s electric vehicles produced here will also bring additional economic benefits to consumers.” The event was also observed by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and Vietnamese Ambassador to the U.S. Nguyễn Quốc Dũng.
Established in 2017 and owned by Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest conglomerate, VinFast has slowly but surely outgrown its domestic market. Like other electric vehicle brands, the company plans to sell vehicles directly to consumers rather than through franchisees and third-party dealers. To that end, the EV maker has opened six dealerships in the U.S., where it said 12,000 buyers had already reserved a car by late 2022. The brand delivered its first batch of 999 cars to America in February of 2023. As of May, the brand had sold 264 units and acquired another 2,097. The car manufacturer has initiated at least one recall since arriving in the country, using a software update to fix malfunctioning head-up displays in 2023 VF 8 SUVs.