- Vietnamese automaker VinFast is opening a new assembly plant in North Carolina.
- The company says it will produce 150,000 cars a year when fully operational.
- The facility will also manufacture batteries for EVs.
You might not have heard of Vietnamese automaker VinFast just yet, but it plans on making waves in the American market, and soon. But before the company can challenge the likes of Genesis, Volvo and Acura, it needs to build cars we can buy. That's why the company has just announced a new manufacturing plant in Chatham County, North Carolina.
Construction on the new plant will start this year and is scheduled to be finished by July of 2024, according to VinFast. Once it's fully operational, the facility will make up to 150,000 cars a year. Presumably, most of those cars will be for the U.S. market, with some being shipped to other parts of the world, but VinFast didn't say specifically where these vehicles will be sold. The plant is a part of a multi-billion dollar investment from VinFast, and the company says it will create thousands of jobs right in the heart of North Carolina in a county west of Raleigh.
The new plant is such a significant investment, President Joe Biden made a statement today acknowledging the new plant and noting the impact on both the state of North Carolina and its workforce.
As of now, two cars will be produced at the plant. The VinFast VF 9 and VF 8 are both fully electric SUVs that seat seven and five passengers, respectively. The plant will not only manufacture the cars but also the batteries that will power the EVs, too. All of this is part of VinFast's Phase 1 plan, and the company says it will continue to invest in the plant as time goes on. By 2026, VinFast says it wants to make as many as 950,000 cars a year globally, but we'll have to see if it has the demand to match those aspirations.
VinFast's first two cars will enter the U.S. market sometime this year and are poised to compete with the likes of the Kia EV6 and the Ford Mustang Mach-E. Time will tell if this startup with massive investment can match or surpass what we've seen from legacy manufacturers like Ford and GM. As soon as we hit the road in the automaker's new EVs, we'll be sure to let you know if they're worth taking a serious look at.
VinFast isn't the first startup to state massive growth goals, and many potential contenders have since fallen by the wayside. However, its major investment in a stateside manufacturing plant serves as not only proof of intent but also the willingness to back it up.