VinFast breaks ground on automotive manufacturing facility in Chatham County

MONCURE – VinFast, a Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer, broke ground on their proposed billion dollar facility in Chatham County Friday, July 28.

In an event attended by VinFast executives, the Vietnam Ambassador to the United States, Gov. Roy Cooper as well as various government officials, VinFast laid out their future plans and goals regarding the factory located in the Triangle Innovation Point megasite.

“Just over a year ago, Vinfast announced the plan to build our first North American manufacturing facility and today we are here to start the construction of the first EV factory in North Carolina which will have an annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles,” said VinFast Global CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy.

The plant, which will be the first ever automobile factory in the state of North Carolina, aims to create thousands of jobs and is just the latest example of the economic and business boom the state has been experiencing.

“I’m so happy to be here because I’m thinking about the great paying jobs that are going to be created right here in North Carolina,” Cooper said. “They’re going to put money in the pockets of working families and that’s a great thing.”

“Vinfast is leading an army of clean-energy companies coming to our state. It has helped us to set records for job growth and economic expansion over the last few years. When you talk to CEOs of automakers and truck makers, the private sector is moving away from gas and diesel and into the EV market at breakneck speed. The competition is fierce, so it’s important that we’ve been able to pull together to harness the economic windfall that is coming from that, to make sure that money goes into the pockets of North Carolinians.”

The process has been an all-hands-on-deck approach that has encompassed support from the federal government to the state all the way down to local authorities.

“This was a true bipartisan effort,” Cooper said. “We’re grateful to have everyone here working on this. Our entire team from transportation to environment to commerce to our community colleges, we have all been working on this.”

“We are well on the way to being the greatest state in this country and the most progressive state in the south in showing what you can do when you have great vision, not just taking what comes, but knowing what we need to look like,” said Chatham County Rep. Robert Reives II. “We didn’t just take anything that came. We wanted to make sure that the people of Chatham County and all of our surrounding counties had an opportunity for good jobs. Jobs that their children will have.”

VinFast, which is a member of the VinGroup conglomerate, was established in 2017 and currently boasts a selection of electric cars, luxury cars, scooters, motorcycles and fully electric SUVs and according to Madam Thuy, recently had its business combination cleared by the US Securities and Exchange Commission brining, it one step closer to its listing on the stock market.

“With the factory that we are building here today, VinFast wants to strongly contribute to the goal of establishing robust, clean energy supply chains throughout the US,” Thuy said. “We have been hard at work to cultivate an ecosystem of suppliers in North Carolina that will complement our facility and create cutting edge industrial processes here.”

Along with the manufacturing of EVs, Gov. Cooper expressed his desire and goal to expand the network of electric charging stations across the state as well.

“In North Carolina, we are moving fast on infrastructure,” Cooper said. “We have a coordinated effort competing for every single federal dollar. One of the main things we’re trying to do is to make sure we have charging stations all over the state to make sure we are ready for this EV revolution and that will be part of the infrastructure effort that we are putting forward.

“We want to make a real public effort here. Already, we’re getting $100 million from the federal government with the plan that we’re working on with our transportation plan. We’re also applying for significantly more federal dollars that we think can help us do this. What we want to do is to coordinate with the private sector here to make sure there are charging stations in as many places as possible to continue to encourage the purchase of EVs and make sure everybody is comfortable having one. We know how important and how critical this is to the EV market making sure there are chargers everywhere.”

VinFast has also made great efforts to weave themselves into the fabric of the local community, with VinFast’s CEO of U.S. Manufacturing Van Anh Nguyen becoming a resident of the state of North Carolina and a collaboration with Central Carolina Community College to develop a world-class training program at its new state-of-the-art facility to help train the future workforce.

“This partnership will open the door for the people of Chatham County and beyond to receive free training and start their careers at Vinfast manufacturing EVs that will improve our environment and revolutionize the automotive industry,” Thuy said.

In addition to those, VinFast announced that they plan to donate three acres of land to the Mary Oaks Baptist Church, which is currently located on the site, and the company will work to identify resources needed to potentially relocate the church if necessary.

“I believe that you all share with me the hope that in the near future, Vinfast EVs produced in North Carolina, will be rolling out on roads across the United States and playing their part in keeping the U.S. clean and livable,” said Vietnam Ambassador to the U.S. Nguyen Quoc Dzung.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal

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