Vietnamese carmaker to build electric vehicles in North Carolina
A Vietnamese automaker on Tuesday announced plans to build an electric vehicle plant in North Carolina, promising to create 7,500 jobs and ending the state’s near-miss line for car makers landing.
VinFast will build its first North American plant in Chatham County, southwest of Raleigh, with production expected to begin in 2024. According to the state’s Commerce Department, 7,500 people are expected to receive an average salary by 2027.
“VinFast’s transformative project will create many better jobs in our state, including a healthier environment, because more electric vehicles will help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Governor Roy Cooper said in a statement.
The company is expected to invest 4 billion to build the plant on a 2,000-acre (800-hectare) site about 30 minutes southwest of Raleigh. The plant is planned to produce 150,000 cars annually. The state has agreed to use the Employment Development Grant to reimburse $ 316 million over 32 years if the employment generation and investment targets are met. The state plans to provide 450 million for site construction, road improvements and other infrastructure works.
A statement from the State Department of Commerce said the manufacturer considered sites in 12 states before reducing site searches in North Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. The release states that staff, incentives and site readiness were key factors in his selection.
“North Carolina’s strong commitment to building a clean energy economy, combating climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation has made WinFast an ideal place to develop its premium, smart and environmentally friendly EV,” said Le Thi Thuy Thuy, CEO of WinFast Global. A statement.
The United Auto Workers Union plans to mobilize workers at the new Winfast plant, as well as other electric vehicle and battery factories in the southern states, union president Ray Curry said Tuesday. The union now has funding to begin a concerted effort, Curry told the Automotive Press Association in Detroit.
The union already has a presence in North Carolina, he said.
“We believe we are a preferred union,” Curry said. “We are auto workers and our goal will be to be able to represent any auto work assembly taking place in the country, especially the ever-changing EVs.”
UAW will seek to hold Ford and General Motors’ battery plants in Kentucky and Tennessee, as well as factories run by Tesla and electric vehicle startup Revion. Both have plants that were represented by a team of former owners. Such campaigns, depending on their duration, could cost millions of dollars, he said.
The launch of the car manufacturing plant is considered a major achievement for Cooper, legislators and financial recruiters after a series of disappointments decades ago.
In the early 1990’s, North Carolina lost to South Carolina, then Alabama, for BMW’s first full-service plant outside of Germany, which landed the Mercedes-Benz SUV plant. More recently, the state fell short in selecting new plants through Tesla and Revian Automotive.
Freightliner already operates a truck manufacturing plant in North Carolina, and Volvo Trucks is headquartered in Greensboro, North America.
The VinFast plant acquisition is the latest in a series of significant economic victories in the state over the past 12 months.
Apple announced last April that it would build its first East Coast campus in Research Triangle Park between Raleigh and Durham and create 3,000 new jobs over the next decade.
Toyota unveiled in December that it would build a $ 1.3 billion battery plant near Greensboro that would employ at least 1,750 people and help automaker complete plans to increase sales of electric vehicles in the US.
And Boom Supersonic announced in January that Greensboro would be home to its first full-scale production facility for next-generation supersonic passenger jets. It also aims to create more than 2,400 new jobs by 2032.
VinFast is part of the Vietnamese group Vinggroup, which is raising capital to boost electric vehicle sales in the US and eventually Europe. The company is already selling vehicles with internal combustion engines and electric powertrains in Vietnam.
In November, the company introduced the VF e35 midsize and VF e36 large electric SUVs at the Los Angeles Auto Show, but prices were not disclosed.
The company’s former chief executive said last year that VinFast plans to take orders in the spring and deliver vehicles to the US in the fall. Initially the SUVs would be manufactured at a new factory in Vietnam, but VinFast was planning to build a US factory starting production in late 2024.