SANFORD – Automaker VinFast is set to begin construction of its $4 billion U.S. manufacturing facility at the Triangle Innovation Point in Chatham County, the company noted in a statement this week. And it’s moving quickly.
“We begin site prep, leveling and grading this month,” a company spokesperson told WRAL TechWire on Friday.
VinFast also has launched a search for talent, listing several jobs. (Check this site for postings.) The spokesperson also said the company is assembling its management team. “Details on the executive team will be communicated soon,” he said.
Construction at the site has not yet begun, a source familiar with the site told WRAL TechWire this week.
Still, the company statement notes that the first phase of the project “will start construction in the second half of 2022.”
The first phase is the build out of the assets that support the production of the company’s electric vehicles, while the second phase will add battery production capabilities.
And the firm’s timeline for beginning construction is in line with the company’s initial expectations, as reported by WRAL TechWire in March.
Site work at the 2,000 acre site could begin as soon as this quarter, sources familiar with site development told WRAL TechWire.
According to the statement, production of the company’s electric vehicles could begin in July of 2024, and once operational, produce 150,000 vehicles annually. A document that summarizes the deal the company made with the State of North Carolina notes that the firm has set a goal to increase operational capacity “quickly to reach 200,000 or more vehicles per year.”
Project includes record $1.25 billion in total incentives – plus more
The Vietnamese-headquartered company will receive an incentives packaging totaling some $1.25 billion, which it described in the statement as “critical financial support.”
That includes financial incentives, some of which are tied to investment and job creation, from the State of North Carolina, the City of Sanford, Chatham County, and the Golden Leaf Foundation.
Whether that package will be worth it to North Carolinians is yet to be seen, Duke professor John Quinterno outlined to WRAL TechWire in March when the deal was announced.
An economic model used by the North Carolina Department of Commerce to analyze business recruitment deals found that the return on the incentives package could be in the billions of dollars for the state, WRAL TechWire previously reported.
According to that economic formula, known as the “Walden Model,” the VinFast project over the life of the 32-year agreement will result in an estimated increase of approximately $71.6 billion in North Carolina’s gross domestic product and return an estimated increase in the state’s net revenue of nearly $596 million.
The incentives package
But it does include, according to the company’s statement, the following incentives:
- Job Development Investment Grant of $316,187,400 over 32 years
- State appropriation of $450 million, to cover site preparations, road improvements, and additional water and sewer infrastructure.
- Community college training worth $38 million
- Golden Leaf Foundation grant of $50 million
- $400 million in local incentives from Chatham County
There may also be other financial incentives or other deals that the company has formed.
That’s according to the company’s own statement, which notes that it has “received incentives from commercial organizations in the State of North Carolina, which is excluded from the government budget, up to hundreds of millions USD.”
A spokesperson for VinFast said that “Any further details will be shared in future communications.”
Asked about the statement in the company announcment, David Rhoades, communications director at the North Carolina Department of Commerce, told WRAL TechWire by email today:
“I’m not aware of additional public funds or agreements beyond those outlined.”
Still, the decision by VinFast to locate at the Triangle Innovation Point has already seen other organizations make decisions about space and place. That includes FedEx Ground, which confirmed in April that it would lease a facility down the road from the site of the VinFast plant at Triangle Innovation Point West.
That building is already actively under construction, a source confirmed to WRAL TechWire.
Tour of the VinFast factory in Vietnam
Next week, WRAL News travels halfway around the world to Vietnam to bring viewers live reports all week long from inside the VinFast auto factory.
We put viewers in the driver’s seat to see, for the first time, the future of manufacturing in North Carolina.
WRAL News will tour the current VinFast facilities and talk to the company’s leadership.
Starting Monday, WRAL News will bring you in-depth reports on this company making a big impact in central North Carolina.
Tune in for live reports all week long at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., Only on WRAL News.