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Tesla rival from Vietnam, VinFast to invest up to $2B in India and start sales in the UK

Picture credits: VinFast

Vietnamese EV maker VinFast has announced its plans to invest an initial sum of $500 million in India to set up an integrated facility in the country, estimated to be the third-largest automobile market in the world. The company confirmed to invest up to $2 billion in this ambitious project. In addition to this, the EV maker also announced that it will start selling cars in the UK before the end of the year.

VinFast’s Indian facility 

The EV facility will be set up this year in the state of Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu. As per the company, the facility will have an annual capacity of 150,000 units and will generate 3,000 to 3,5000 employment opportunities. 

Notably, this Indian state is an automobile manufacturing hub with production facilities of companies such as BMW, Hyundai, and Renault-Nissan, alongside EV manufacturers, including BYD from China and Indian-based Ather Energy and Ola Electric. 

Why focus on India?

VinFast’s strategic investment aligns with its broader ambition to capitalise on India’s burgeoning EV market, deemed one of the world’s most rapidly expanding sectors. The construction of the facility will position the Vietnamese firm strategically to seize growth opportunities and establish a robust foothold in key markets worldwide. 

In support of this endeavour, the state government has pledged to provide essential support such as cleared land for manufacturing facilities, uninterrupted power supply, and other necessary infrastructure.

Besides this manufacturing facility, VinFast is also looking to develop a pan-India dealership network to cater to consumers in the world’s third-largest four-wheeler market. 

UK expansion plans

Currently, VinFast is expanding its UK team ahead of deliveries later in 2024. It has hired Andrew Pilkington, the former head of Genesis UK, as deputy CEO of the country. Previously, Pilkington with experience at Polestar joined the company to oversee sales and marketing for the company in his role.

Plans ahead for VinFast 

Founded in 2017 by Pham Nhat Vuong, the Tesla rival from Vietnam is looking to introduce 2 to 3 electric SUVs starting with the VF e-34 crossover. It is likely to be imported via the CBU (Completely Built-Up Unit) route. The company also plans to bring its VF6 and VF7 electric SUVs to India. 

As per the company, the VF 8 mid-size SUV claims can travel up to 471 km on a full charge of its 87.7 kWh battery pack. Its VF 9, a 7-seat large SUV is now available to order in the European markets.

“We are delighted that VinFast has chosen to invest in Tamil Nadu to establish its integrated EV facility. Possessing robust capabilities and unwavering commitment to a sustainable future, I believe that VinFast will emerge as a reliable economic partner and substantial contributor to Tamil Nadu’s long-term development,” said Dr. Thallikotai Raju Balu Rajaa, Minister of Industries of the Government of Tamil Nadu, in the statement.

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