VinFast delays US electric vehicle plant operation to 2025

FILE PHOTO: VinFast electric vehicles are parked before delivery to their first customers at a store in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 1, 2023. REUTERS/Lisa Baertlein/File Photo

HANOI (Reuters) – Vietnam’s automaker VinFast on Friday said it will push back its plan to start operations of its electric vehicles factory in the United States until 2025, citing a procedural delay.

The unit of conglomerate Vingroup JSC flagged the plan to build a $4 billion EV factory in North Carolina’s Chatham County on 712 hectares (1759 acres) of land in March last year, with commissioning targeted for July 2024.

“We need more time to complete administrative procedures,” VinFast said in a statement on the delay, which did not specify when in 2025 the plant was expected to start operations.

Once the facility assembles VinFast EVs, customers may be entitled to incentives under terms of the Inflation Reduction Act signed by U.S. President Joe Biden.

VinFast last month was awarded an Air Permit from local authorities to start construction. It still needs a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designed to minimise damage to water quality and wetlands.

The plant, with phase one including capital expenditures for the construction of $1.4 billion, is expected to create more than 7,000 jobs and churn out 150,000 vehicles a year, according to the company’s latest prospectus released on Thursday.

Last year VinFast filed for an initial public offering in the United States to list on the Nasdaq to fund its the plant construction.

VinFast started its first sales outside Vietnam last week, delivering its first 45 cars in California on the first day.

Its revenue in 2022 was 14.9 trillion dong ($631 million), down about 6.9% against 2021. Net losses rose 55% to 49.8 trillion dong from 32.2 trillion dong, its latest prospectus showed.

($1 = 23,670 dong)

(This story has been refiled to remove extraneous text in the headline)


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