'Crown jewel.' Electric carmaker Vinfast breaks ground in its $4B NC manufacturing plant

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Friday, July 28, 2023
Vinfast breaks ground on its future North Carolina manufacturing plant
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The Vietnamese car maker is set to bring 7,500 jobs to the area. Chatham County beat out 29 other locations across 12 other states to land the facility.

CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Governor Roy Cooper was among those attending a groundbreaking ceremony at electric car maker Vinfast.

The Vietnamese car maker is set to bring 7,500 jobs to the area. Chatham County beat out 29 other locations across 12 other states to land the facility.

"(For) decades we wanted an automaker in North Carolina. And you know someone was looking after us. We were just waiting for that EV market, that's what we were waiting for," said Governor Roy Cooper.

The company will invest $4 billion to build the manufacturing plant, which will be the first automobile assembly plant in the state.

"This facility is the crown jewel of VinFast's global expansion. It's the first facility that we are building outside of Vietnam, and it will forever change the trajectory of the landscape for the EV industry and here in North Carolina as well," said Brook Taylor, the VP of Governmental and Strategic Partnerships for VinFast.

"Our project represents a significant investment and we're proud to create thousands of jobs here in North Carolina, but we believe the recognition that we received here goes beyond the figures and reflects the mutual ambition that we all are pursuing," said VinFast CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy.

North Carolina is contributing $1.2 billion in incentives as part of the project. While noting North Carolina's recent CNBC ranking as the top state for business in the country for the second consecutive year, Taylor said the decision to open here extended past finances.

"It's not just about taxes and regulations, it is about the people of this community and this state who come together to make projects like this possible," said Taylor.

VinFast has partnered with Central Carolina Community College, whose Lee Main Campus in Sanford is located about 25 minutes from the planned site, on job opportunities.

"This is such an opportunity for the communities we serve. The careers that will be available, that change lives of individuals, of families and communities can only improve the economic situation in North Carolina," said Central Carolina Community College Dr. Lisa Chapman.

Chapman said training has started at the E. Eugene Moore Manufacturing and Biotech Solutions Center on campus.

"We have great talent but all of that talent needs to know what's available to them in terms of careers, and then we can match the career training for them," said Central Carolina Community College President Dr. Lisa Chapman.

Friday's ceremony served as a victory for the company, which has faced questions over its financial viability, seen key executives leave the company, and made the decision to delay the opening of its' Chatham County plant from 2024 to 2025.

"There's always been questions. Last six years, there's always been questions. There's less questions today than six years ago when we started on this journey," said Thuy.