Electric cars

Vietnamese automaker to build electric vehicles in North Carolina

Vietnamese automaker to build electric vehicles in North Carolina

A Vietnamese automaker on Tuesday announced plans to build a factory in North Carolina to manufacture electric vehicles, promising to provide 7,500 jobs and ending the state’s streak of near-misses for landing automakers.

VinFast will build its first North American factory in Chatham County, southwest of Raleigh, with production expected to begin in 2024. It plans to employ 7,500 people by 2027 with average salaries of $51,000, according to the state Department of Commerce.

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“VinFast’s transformation project will bring many good jobs to our state, as well as a healthier environment as more electric vehicles hit the road to help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Governor Roy Cooper in a statement.

The company is expected to invest $4 billion to build the plant on a nearly 2,000-acre (800-hectare) site about a 30-minute drive southwest of Raleigh. The plant should be able to manufacture 150,000 cars per year. The state has agreed to use the Job Development Grants to repay $316 million over 32 years if it meets job creation and investment goals. The state also plans to provide up to $450 million for site preparation, road improvements and other infrastructure works.

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A statement from the state Commerce Department said the manufacturer considered sites in 12 states before narrowing its search to North Carolina and a site in Savannah, Georgia. The release says manpower, incentives and site preparation were key factors in its choice.

“North Carolina’s strong commitments to building a clean energy economy, fighting climate change, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in transportation make it an ideal place for VinFast to grow. its premium, smart and eco-friendly electric vehicles,” said Le Thi Thu Thuy, CEO of VinFast Global. A declaration.

FILE – The VinFast VF e36 is displayed at the AutoMobility LA Auto Show on Thursday, November 18, 2021 in Los Angeles. VinFast announced Tuesday, March 29, 2022, plans to build a factory in North Carolina to manufacture electric vehicles, promising to bring 7.50 of them. ((AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)/AP Newsroom)

The United Auto Workers union plans to organize workers at the new VinFast plant, as well as other electric vehicle and battery plants moving into southern states, union president Ray Curry said Tuesday. The union now has funds to begin organizing its efforts, Curry told the Automotive Press Association in Detroit.

The union, he said, already has a presence in North Carolina.

“We think we’re the preferred union,” Curry said. “We are the autoworkers, and our goal would be to be able to represent any autowork assembly that would take place in the country, especially the electric vehicles that are transforming right now.”

The UAW will also try to organize Ford and General Motors battery factories in Kentucky and Tennessee, as well as factories run by Tesla and electric vehicle startup Rivian. Both have factories that were union-represented under previous owners. Such campaigns, depending on their length, could cost tens of millions of dollars, he said.

The car manufacturing plant’s landing is seen as a major achievement for Cooper, legislative leaders and economic recruiters after a series of disappointments stretching back decades.

In the early 1990s, North Carolina lost to South Carolina for BMW’s first full-service plant outside of Germany, then later to Alabama, which clinched the SUV plant from Mercedes Benz. More recently, the state has failed to win new factories by Tesla and Rivian Automotive.

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Freightliner already operates truck production plants in North Carolina, and Volvo Trucks’ North American headquarters are based in Greensboro.

The acquisition of the VinFast factory is the latest in a string of significant economic victories for the state over the past 12 months.

Apple announced last April that it was building its first East Coast campus in Research Triangle Park between Raleigh and Durham, creating 3,000 new jobs over the next decade.

Toyota announced in December that it would build a $1.3 billion battery plant near Greensboro that will employ at least 1,750 people and help fulfill the automaker’s plans to dramatically increase sales of electric vehicles in the states. -United.

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And Boom Supersonic announced in January that Greensboro would host its first full-scale manufacturing facility for next-generation supersonic passenger aircraft. This also comes with a target of more than 2,400 new jobs by 2032.

VinFast is part of Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup, which provides capital to expand sales of electric vehicles in the United States and possibly Europe. The company already sells vehicles with internal combustion engines and electric powertrains in Vietnam.

In November, the company showed off the VF e35 and VF e36 midsize electric SUVs at the Los Angeles Auto Show, but it didn’t reveal pricing.

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The company’s former chief executive said last year that VinFast plans to start taking orders in the spring and delivering vehicles to the United States in the fall. Initially, the SUVs would be built at a new factory in Vietnam, but VinFast planned to build a US factory which would begin production in the second half of 2024.

VinFast, with US headquarters in Los Angeles, plans to sell vehicles through its own network of stores, with much of the ordering process done online. Already, the company has plans for 60 stores in California alone. It will also have service centers and mobile service.