MONCURE, N.C. (WTVD) -- VinFast will delay the opening of its plant operations in Chatham County by a year, the Vietnamese electric car maker told ABC11.
VinFast, which officially launched in 2019, plans to expand into the United States, Canada, and Europe, planned to start production in 2024 but now has pushed back the target date to 2025.
"Because we need more time to complete administrative procedures, VinFast's EV factory project in North Carolina is expected to start production in 2025," a VinFast spokesperson told ABC11.
In 2021, the company selected Los Angeles as its U.S. headquarters and Chatham County beat out 29 potential sites from 12 other states to land the manufacturing facility.
"It's an exciting day for North Carolina," Gov. Roy Cooper said at the time of the announcement. "Our first car manufacturing plant."
But now those plans are on hold -- at least for a while. VinFast plans to invest $4 billion to start a plant at Moncure's Triangle Innovation Point in Sanford and create at least 7,500 jobs.
Tuesday, March 14, Vinfast sent this statement regarding the status of the Chatham County project: "VinFast is fully committed to building our first US EV manufacturing facility in North Carolina. We have the necessary approvals to finalize site development and plan to start construction soon. While the timeline has been adjusted, our vision for the project remains clear. We are eager to move forward with construction and further contribute to this community by providing high-quality jobs and economic benefit to the entire state."
"While VinFast has announced a delay in the expected opening of their North Carolina facility, we are confident that there is no change in VinFast's scope or vision for the project here in Chatham County," Chatham County Manager Dan LaMontagne said on Friday, March 10. "They remain fully committed to the successful development of their first US production facility in Chatham County, North Carolina, and we look forward to our continued work to complete the development of the site and construction of the facility as quickly as possible."
Production for electric cars and batteries was expected to start next year with a goal of 2,000 cars a year. The proposed facility has yet to be built.
Bloomberg reported that earlier this week that a company spokesperson said VinFast had "received the air permit and we are preparing for sub-contractors bidding and will start the construction soon."
VinFast reportedly lost $2.1 billion in 2022 and made sales of $525 million.