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Tesla rival VinFast scouts location for EV plant in India

Low-cost Vietnamese automaker said to have zeroed in on location in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district and in Manalur area north of Chennai

Tesla rival VinFast scouts location for EV plant in India
[Source photo: Vinfast Auto]

Tesla rival and low-cost Vietnamese automaker VinFast Auto is scouting locations for a new electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing plant in India, The Economic Times reported on Sunday.

The EV manufacturer has evaluated two potential sites in Tamil Nadu. One is located in the Manalur area north of Chennai, and the other is in the southern district of Tuticorin. The company is also considering additional sites in Gujarat, the report said, citing unidentified sources.

In its latest results statement, the Vietnamese company laid out plans to set up an assembly unit in India with a total capacity of up to 50,000 cars per year at an estimated cost of $200 million in phase 1 of the project. Production is expected to commence by 2026, the carmaker said.

The carmaker said funding for the project would come from its optimized capital expenditure plan for global manufacturing in 2024 and 2025, which is expected to save approximately $400 million.

The establishment of VinFast facilities in markets such as India and Indonesia can provide access to government incentives for local manufacturing, relief from certain tariffs and taxes and access to raw materials at attractive rates, it said.

In the July to September quarter, VinFast delivered about 10,27 EVs globally, primarily from its Vietnam factory, and reported an increase in sales in September from Canada. It delivered 28,220 e-scooters during the quarter, an almost twofold jump from the previous quarter.

The company, which boasts 126 showrooms globally for EVs and 247 showrooms and service workshops for e-scooters, started construction on a North Carolina plant with a 150,000-vehicle capacity, aiming to start production in 2025.

Queries emailed to VinFast were unanswered.

Founded in 2017, VinFast is a subsidiary of Vingroup and makes a portfolio of electric SUVs, e-scooters and e-buses in Vietnam. It made its debut in the US market this year as it aims to broaden its customer base beyond Vietnam.

It is majority owned by Pham Nhat Vuong, Vietnam’s richest man, who chairs Vingroup. The EV maker went public this August through a merger with special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Black Spade.

A SPAC is a corporate entity that secures funding from investors and goes public, solely for the purpose of merging with a privately-held company to facilitate its public listing.

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