- vinfast, a vietnamese startup, will invest at least $2 billion into a plant in north carolina, where it will start building electric crossovers in 2024.
- vinfast is currently aiming to start deliveries later this year, with its vf 8 and vf 9 electric crossovers.
- currently, the vf 8 is listed at $41,000 while the vf 9 rings in at $56,000.
last year, vietnamese startup vinfast set up headquarters in los angeles and declared its intention to sell cars in the united states. today, the company has revealed plans for its first u.s. factory in north carolina, where vinfast will build its vf 8 and vf 9 electric crossovers as well as batteries, creating what it says will be thousands of jobs.
the plant will be built at the triangle innovation point "megasite" in chatham county, north carolina, on an approximately 2000-acre plot. vinfast said it will invest at least $2 billion in the first phase of construction, targeting an initial capacity of 150,000 units per year. construction will get underway this year, with production starting in july 2024. along with crossovers, the facility will also build electric buses and batteries. initial reports from raliegh's tnews & observer predicted the creation of between 7500 and 13,000 jobs.
although vinfast initially sold gas-powered vehicles using bmw engines in its home market starting in 2019, its expansion to the u.s. site will bring two electric crossovers, the vf 8 and vf 9, which were previously called the vf e35 and vf e36. the two crossovers were penned by famed italian design house pininfarina.
vinfast claims the mid-size vf 8 will make 402 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque, accelerating to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. a 316.9-mile range on europe’s wltp test cycle is targeted for the vf 8, and vinfast's website currently lists its price at $41,000. the seven-seat vf 9 features the same power and torque output, but it is claimed to take an extra second to hit 60 mph and to achieve 422.5 miles on the wltp cycle. vinfast says it will start at $56,000. both crossovers will come with extensive driver assistance systems.
vinfast told car and driver last year that the vf 8 and vf 9 will be built in vietnam and imported into north america at first, with u.s. production expected to begin in the second half of 2024. that lines up with the timeline from today's announcement. vinfast has previously said it aims to begin deliveries in the fall of 2022, and vinfast says its haiphong, vietnam, factory will have the capacity to build 950,000 vehicles per year by 2026.