Mar 10, 2023 - Business

VinFast delays plans for North Carolina electric vehicle plant

A Vinfast vehicle on display ahead of the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto. Photo: Lance McMillan/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Vietnamese auto maker VinFast is delaying operation plans for an electric-vehicle factory in North Carolina until 2025, the company said Friday.

Driving the news: VinFast has promised to build a $4 billion EV plant in Chatham County that could one day employ up to 7,500 people.

  • VinFast has been steadfast up to this point that it wanted to begin production here in 2024. The delay was first reported by Reuters.
  • "Because we need more time to complete administrative procedures, VinFast's EV factory project in North Carolina is expected to start production from 2025," the company said in a statement to Axios.

VinFast has not yet started construction on its facility in Chatham County.

  • In February, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality issued the company an air quality permit.
  • But VinFast is still waiting on a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designed to minimized damage to water quality and wetlands, Reuters reported.

Why it matters: VinFast was one of the the state's biggest-ever economic development wins, when it picked North Carolina in 2022 for its first U.S. production facility.

  • State and local governments have pledged more $1.2 billion in incentives for the company, if it meets hiring and investment goals.
  • Around $250 million of the incentives would go to road and rail improvements to make the project possible.

State of play: VinFast, founded in 2017, delivered its first cars to California customers this month.

  • But the company is entering an increasingly competitive landscape for EVs — especially as competitors like Tesla lower prices in response to new entrants.

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