VinFast unveils factory site plans


MONCURE — VinFast, the Vietnamese electric car manufacturer bringing the largest economic development project in state history to Chatham County, has posted initial site plans for its electric vehicle factory.

The site plans were filed with the Chatham County Planning Department on July 11 and show a total of six major buildings and a couple smaller ones.

In total, VinFast is planning to build a more than 2.8 million-square-foot facility. The largest of those is a 955,000-square-foot general assembly building, followed by the body shop at slightly under 800,000 square feet.

Detroit-based Albert Kahn Associates Inc. is the engineering firm and architect for the site plans. The firm has designed other automobile plants, including the Volvo facility near Charleston, South Carolina. They also designed VinFast's industrial park in Vietnam. 

The site plan represents what the company calls the first phase of development. There are also adjacent plots of land marked as a "future phase," with earlier company plans indicated it would be intended for battery production.

Vehicles slated to be produced at the site include the VinFast VF 9, a 7-passenger all-electric Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) and the VinFast VF 8, a 5-passenger, all-electric mid-size SUV.

"We've been closely aligned with VinFast," said Michael Smith, director of the Chatham Economic Development Corporation, told the Triangle Business Journal in response to the plans. "This is an important milestone, the entire community is coming together to celebrate this event and we're excited to see what VinFast has in store."

In addition to the two largest buildings, the others listed in the plans are a paint shop at 513,200 square feet, a press shop at 497,950 square feet, a central energy plant at 33,900 square feet, a waste building at 8,200 square feet, a pump house at 800 square feet and a guard house at the entrance of the site at 288 square feet.

Site plans also call for new water and sewer line as well as a new rail line at the facility.

The proposed plans mark the latest milestone for the company in establishment its first North American manufacturing plant after initial hiccups relating to their timeline and entry into the United States.

Late last week, the company’s planned SPAC merger with Black Spade Acquisition Co. extended its deadline to complete the deal by a year. The amended deal now gives Black Spade and VinFast until July 20, 2024, to complete its merger.

SPACs, or Special Purpose Acquistion Companies, are formed strictly to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) for the purpose of acquiring or merging with an existing company, according to Investopedia.

Despite the challenges, the company is confident it will deliver on the promise of investing over $4 billion in Chatham County and creating 7,500 jobs.

State economic development leaders continue to tout the project, noting that North Carolina received Area Development magazine’s 2023 Platinum Shovel Award recognizing states that went above and beyond the gold standard for investment and job creation. The VinFast deal was recognized as the 2022 Manufacturing Project of the Year.

Late Tuesday night, the company also announced its groundbreaking for the facility would take place on Friday, July 28 at the Moncure site.

vinfast, chatham county planning department, development, factory site, electric vehicles