A new Southeast Asian electric car company is planning to build a manufacturing facility in North Carolina, creating thousands of jobs in the U.S.
President Joe Biden announced VinFast, a Vietnamese automaker, plans to expand its operation to the U.S., investing $4 billion to create its first North American automotive assembly and battery manufacturing plant. The company says it will employ at least 7,500 workers by 2027.
The Biden administration says VinFast’s announcement is the latest effort to build a clean energy economy.
“Since taking office, we have implemented an industrial strategy to revitalize domestic manufacturing and create good-paying American jobs, strengthen American supply chains, and supercharge the industries of the future like electric vehicles—and we see that strategy paying off day after day,” Biden said in a statement.
The plant will be built at the Triangle Innovation Point in Chatham County, North Carolina, on an approximately 2,000-acre plot. Once up and running, VinFast says the manufacturing plant will produce more than 250,000 vehicles per year.
Vehicles planned to be produced at the site include the VinFast VF 9, a seven-passenger all-electric Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) and the VinFast VF 8, a five-passenger, all-electric midsize SUV.
Construction for the factory is expected to start in July 2024, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.
“North Carolina is quickly becoming the center of our country’s emerging, clean energy economy,” Cooper said in a statement. “VinFast’s transformative project will bring many good jobs to our state, along with a healthier environment as more electric vehicles take to the road to help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
VinFast says North Carolina’s commitment to fighting climate change and building a clean energy economy makes the state an ideal location for the new manufacturing site.
In 2018, Cooper issued an executive order to tackle climate change. The order included an economy-wide target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
“Having a production facility right in the market will help VinFast to proactively manage its supply chain, maintain stabilized prices and shorten product supply time, making VinFast’s EVs more accessible to customers, contributing to the realization of local environmental improvement goals,” said Le Thi Thu Thuy, Vingroup vice chair and VinFast Global CEO.
VinFast was founded in 2017 as a subsidiary of the Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup. It’s headquartered in Hanoi, Vietnam, with a vehicle production facility with the capacity to produce 950,000 vehicles per year by 2026.
Newsweek reached out to VinFast for comment.