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Vietnam’s VinFast announces $2 bn US electric car factory

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A VinFast VF 5 electric vehicle is displayed at the CES electronics convention on January 5, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada./AFP
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Mar 30, 2022 - 03:27 AM

WASHINGTON — Vietnamese car manufacturer VinFast announced Tuesday it will build a $2 billion electric vehicle factory in the US state of North Carolina amid its push to enter the competitive global market for EVs.

President Joe Biden cheered the announcement of the 800-hectare factory in Chatham County that will also make electric busses and EV batteries, calling it “the latest example of my economic strategy at work.”

“Our efforts to build a clean energy economy are driving companies to make more in America, rebuild our supply chains here at home, and ultimately bring down costs for the American people,” he said.

VinFast said construction on the facility that will be able to produce 150,000 vehicles a year would start this year once a permit is obtained, and aim to finish by 2024.

In a statement, the automaker said the factory would produce the five-passenger VinFast VF 8 and the seven-passenger VinFast VF 9, both of which are all-electric SUVs.

Under the company’s memorandum of understanding with the state of North Carolina, VinFast said it would expand the factory in the future.

“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,” VinFast Global CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy said in a statement.

The carmaker is a subsidiary of Vietnam’s largest private conglomerate, Vingroup, which is owned by Pham Nhat Vuong, the country’s richest man with a fortune Forbes estimates as $6.3 billion.

Last July, VinFast announced it would launch two new electric vehicles in North America and Europe in 2022.

The American electric vehicle market is an increasingly competitive space, home to Tesla, a host of EV startups and the Detroit automakers, who have recently announced electric versions of longstanding models.

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