VinFast pushes back US factory to 2025
Vietnamese EV manufacturer VinFast will be opening its first US plant later than it had hoped. About a year ago, the carmaker publicised plans for the facility in Chatham County, North Carolina, saying that operations would begin by July 2024. But the opening date has now been pushed back to 2025.
The Chatham County plant will sit on more than 700 hectares. Initial production capacity was said to be 150,000 vehicles per year. After expansion, capacity could even reach 250,000 EVs annually.
However, getting ready for the groundbreaking ceremony is taking longer than expected. “We need more time to complete administrative procedures,” VinFast wrote in a statement. The vehicle plant will thus open its doors in 2025. However, the carmaker did not specify when exactly, so the delay could be anywhere from six to 18 months.
In February, VinFast received an Air Permit from local authorities, but a permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers is still pending. The latter focuses on the factory’s impact on water quality and wetlands in the area.
VinFast said it would build its two SUV models, the VF 8 and VF 9, in North Carolina. These vehicles will not be exported but sold in North America exclusively.
As reported, VinFast shipped the first batch of 999 VF 8s to the US in November 2022. The vehicles built in Vietnam are not eligible for subsidies in the US, since they are manufactured abroad and the raw materials used for the battery. But the EVs built in North Carolina would be eligible – which is why the US plant plays an essential role in the company’s expansion plans. The initial delivery of 999 electric vehicles was also supposed to start in Febaruary, but were delayed due to VinFast deciding to update the vehicles with the latest software, which should see them delivered to customers hand this month.