Today, Vietnamese automaker VinFast celebrated the groundbreaking ceremony for its $4 billion electric vehicle (EV) and batteries manufacturing complex to be built in the Triangle Innovation Point in Chatham County, North Carolina. It will be VinFast’s first EV manufacturing facility in North America, and Vietnam’s largest foreign direct investment (FDI) project ever in the United States. The facility will employ approximately 7,500 workers, and was a 2022 Business Facilities Deal of the Year Impact Award winner in the Workforce category.
Covering an area of approximately 1,800 acres, VinFast’s 2.8 million square foot factory complex is designed to reach a capacity of 150,000 vehicles per year in phase 1. The factory will consist of two main areas: EV production and assembly. The complex will also house supplementary supplier businesses. VinFast’s factory has received basic permits to begin Phase 1 construction. Announced in March 2022, operations were initially predicted to begin in July 2024, but production is now expected to begin in 2025.
“Today’s event marks a new milestone for VinFast, affirming our commitment to the North American market,” said Madam Le Thi Thu Thuy, CEO of VinFast, during the ceremony.
“Not only will this project create thousands of jobs and contribute to North Carolina’s economic development, but VinFast’s electric vehicles produced here will also bring additional economic benefits to consumers,” she continued. “We also look forward to contributing to the development of the North Carolina community – our second home – during the production and business operation here.”
“Today’s event marks a new milestone for VinFast, affirming our commitment to the North American market.”
— Madam Le Thi Thu Thuy, CEO, VinFast
Last year, North Carolina awarded VinFast a $1.2B incentive package for the project. VinFast will also receive financial support from the City of Sanford, Chatham County and the Golden Leaf Foundation.
“North Carolina’s skilled and diverse workforce is our greatest strength, and we have the largest manufacturing workforce in the Southeast,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “This VinFast factory will create thousands of good-paying jobs in our state, along with a healthier environment as more electric vehicles take to the road.”
Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Marisa Lago also attended the groundbreaking ceremony, along with other foreign dignitaries, local elected officials, faith-based organizations, and business leaders. VinFast is a client of the International Trade Administration’s SelectUSA program, which focuses on attracting job-creating business investments to the U.S.
Preserving A Cultural Landmark
In related news, earlier this week VinFast announced its intention to donate up to three acres of property on the VinFast project site in Moncure to the Merry Oaks Baptist Church to help save it from demolition. The land is being offered with the specific purpose of relocating the church to a new permanent home.
Built in 1888, Merry Oaks Baptist Church has been a cultural destination for many generations in Moncure. The North Carolina Department of Transportation is planning to demolish the current site of the church, including the steeple, to implement a long-planned transportation improvement upgrade for Chatham County. VinFast’s land donation will help relocate the church and allow the congregation to remain in the community.
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“We greatly appreciate that VinFast has made a generous offer to provide a new home for the Merry Oaks Baptist Church so the congregation can remain in the community we’ve called home for over 130 years,” commented Merry Oaks Member Jerry Holden.
“VinFast cares deeply about our new home and does not want to see the Merry Oaks congregation displaced,” said Ms. Van Anh Nguyen, VinFast US Manufacturing CEO. “In addition to donating the land, VinFast is willing to work with our partners to identify other resources to help support the relocation of the church. Our hope is that Merry Oaks Baptist Church and its congregation can remain in the community.”
The members of Merry Oaks Baptist Church have not yet decided if they will relocate the church.