May 29, 2024 - Business

VinFast's North Carolina plant could be delayed again, report says

CHATHAM COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA - July 28: Electric carmaker Vinfast breaks ground in its $4B NC manu

VinFast broke ground on its Chatham County plant last July. Photo: Nick Ut/Getty Images

Vietnamese electric vehicle maker VinFast could once again delay the timeline of its $4 billion Chatham County plant, according to a report from Reuters.

Why it matters: VinFast, which has pledged to eventually hire more than 7,000 workers at the North Carolina plant, already delayed its construction timelines from 2024 to 2025.

  • That timeline, which comes as the company sees meager interest in its vehicles, could be pushed past 2025, Reuters said, citing an unnamed source.

The intrigue: The report comes about a month after the auto maker assured investors its Moncure plant, located around 30 miles southwest of Raleigh, was on track.

  • Yes, but: Little progress has been made at the site, and the company has downsized plans and is waiting on necessary permits to begin construction.

What they're saying: VinFast told Axios it is "conducting a thorough review and evaluation of all aspects of the construction process for our North Carolina factory," though it didn't confirm the Reuters report.

The big picture: Interest in VinFast's vehicles, which are new to the EV market, remains low. The company sold fewer than 1,000 cars in North America last year, an investigation by Hunterbrook Media found last month.

  • More than 70% of the 35,000 vehicles it delivered last year were to companies owned by VinFast's CEO Pham Nhat Vuong, according to SEC filings first reported by Reuters earlier this month.
  • At the same time, however, the company has remained committed to a goal of selling 100,000 cars this year.

Between the lines: North Carolina has long tried to lure a car maker to the state.

  • The state and local governments have pledged more than $1.2 billion in incentives if VinFast meets hiring and investment goals. And its Chatham County plant's groundbreaking ceremony last July included state officials like Gov. Roy Cooper.
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