The $4 billion assembly plant could open as soon as 2024.
VinFast confirmed it has received a major permit from North Carolina regulators as part of the process toward beginning construction of a new $4 billion EV assembly plant. This is not final approval but rather a key stepping stone. Per Reuters, the environmental permit is officially called an "Air Permit," which "allows us to start construction phase 1 of the factory. We will start construction soon," the automaker stated. No exact construction start date was provided.
VinFast, whose US headquarters is in Los Angeles, applied for the Air Permit in December 2022 and approval was received on February 9.
The Vietnamese-owned carmaker also applied for a permit that will see the US Army Corps of Engineers put to use during construction. The military's mission is to ensure the construction process minimizes damage to local water quality and wetlands.
Assuming all goes to plan and the final permit is issued in the near future, VinFast hopes to begin operations at the facility as soon as 2024. More than 7,000 jobs are expected to be created. The first phase of construction includes a $2 billion investment that will ultimately see 150,000 vehicles manufactured annually.
The VF 8 and VF 9 all-electric crossovers will be assembled there and, later on, the smaller and less expensive VF 6 and VF 7 crossovers, which were unveiled last November at the LA Auto Show. The second production phase involves battery production. Presently, the VF 8 and VF 9 are manufactured in Vietnam and the first US market shipments arrived just before last Christmas.
The company has already opened several stores in California, and more are planned elsewhere. Last year was a big year for the Vietnamese startup. It publicly filed a statement of registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ in early December.
2023, however, got off to somewhat of a rough start. First, Tesla announced it was slashing prices and VinFast launched promotions to help counter this. Earlier this month, however, it announced the slashing of 80 jobs in North America, including its CFO. Whether this damages its IPO plans remain unclear.
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