VinFast Bets On India With RM 9.3 Billion EV Factory Investment

This new manufacturing site in Tamil Nadu is expected to see 150,000 Vinfast EVs produced annually. 

While our Malaysian automakers are still to be rebadging cars from other brands 30+ years on from when they were first established, another ASEAN automaker has however grown leaps and bounds since its inception just 7 short years ago. And the most recent example of this is for Vietnam’s VinFast to recently have agreed to build an EV plant in India, as it seeks to penetrate the world’s third-largest vehicle market.

Having first flagged its Indian ambitions late last year, VinFast has since moved fast to sign an agreement with the southern state of Tamil Nadu to open its first Indian manufacturing facility in Thoothukudi. This Vietnamese automaker currently pledges to invest up to $2 billion (RM 9.3 billion) into this new project, with an intended initial commitment of $500 million (RM 2.3 billion) during the first five years. 

Its third proposed overseas manufacturing facility after its planned plants in North Carolina and Indonesia, Vinfast is currently eyeing for this new Indian site to include both an EV and battery production capabilities. The Vietnamese automaker has also stated that it targets for this new facility to churn out 150,000 of its vehicles annually, compared with 250,000 at its main plant in Vietnam.

Interestingly however, VinFast has yet to announce what, or more pertinently even when, exactly will the first cars be rolling out of this Indian production facility. All that was instead made clear is that construction on the project’s EV and battery manufacturing plants is expected to start this year, and generate 3,000 to 3,500 jobs locally.

Though the lack of a firm production start date may be by design, as it is worth highlighting that VinFast doesn’t even have a retail presence in India just yet. It has however apparently already made plans for a nationwide dealership network over there, which will “establish a strong brand presence and swiftly connect with customers across the country”. 

VinFast Global’s Deputy CEO of Sales and Marketing, Tran Mai Hoa, said of this recently signed factory construction agreement “demonstrates VinFast’s strong commitment to the sustainable development and vision of a zero-emission transportation future. We believe that investing in Tamil Nadu will not only bring considerable economic benefits to both parties, but will also help accelerate the green energy transition in India and the region.”

These sentiments were meanwhile echoed by Tamil Nadu’s Minister of Industries, Dr. TRB Rajaa, who said “EV manufacturing companies are not only important economic drivers, but also powerful accelerators to the State’s green vision. We are delighted that VinFast has chosen to invest in Tamil Nadu to establish its integrated EV facility.”

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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