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Construction paused at VinFast's NC site as carmaker seeks a smaller footprint

Brian Gordon, The News & Observer on

Published in Automotive News

Chatham County is currently reviewing designs for an 850,000-square-foot body shop, and VinFast has received permits for retaining walls, which Lusk said are under construction.

VinFast announced the site in March 2022 after North Carolina and Chatham offered combined incentives of $1.25 billion, including more than $300 million in payroll tax benefits if the company meets its hiring and investment targets. Under its state job development investment grant, VinFast pledged to create at least 1,997 jobs by the end of this year.

But the absence of building construction calls this aim into question as well as VinFast’s stated goal of producing electric vehicles in North Carolina by 2025. The company previously postponed the plant’s scheduled opening from 2024.

New to manufacturing electric vehicles, VinFast has lost billions over the past three years as it seeks to overcome poor initial reviews, wobbling electric vehicle demand and a hypercompetitive auto market. The automaker’s stock finished Thursday at an all-time low of around $3 a share.

This week, VinFast reported delivering 9,689 electric vehicles during the first three months of 2024, a 28% decrease over the previous quarter. About half of these sales were made to Green and Smart Mobility, a Vietnamese taxi service controlled by VinFast’s parent company.


VinFast declined to share whether it still believes production can begin in Chatham County next year, though a company spokesperson said VinFast would share more information about its North Carolina operations on a quarterly earnings call Wednesday.

On the call Wednesday morning, company officials did not mention the Chatham factory in their prepared remarks, but in answering an investor’s question about the site, chairwoman Le Thi Thu Thuy said “North Carolina is still ongoing.”

“We’re still on track to start the operation by the end of next year,” Thuy said. “Hiring a lot of workers and putting in operations by the end of next year. But probably the full operations, that will take a couple of months.”

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