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'VinFast has committed $500 million to Tamil Nadu'

April 10, 2024 11:28 IST
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'Our objective is to reach a localisation rate of 50% in the span of five years.'

IMAGE: Pham Sanh Chau, CEO, VinFast India, and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin at the ground breaking ceremony of VinFast's India manufacturing plant, February 25, 2024. Photograph: Kind courtesy Vinfast

Vietnamese electric vehicle maker VinFast, which recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tamil Nadu government, began work on building its first India factory in the port city Thoothukudi by holding a ground breaking ceremony.

The integrated electric vehicle and battery manufacturing unit will come up in an area of 380 acres at an industrial estate owned by the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) in Silanatham village.

The project will not only expand VinFast's global footprint, but also make substantial contribution to the local economy by creating thousands of jobs and enhancing the technical skills of the workforce in Tamil Nadu.

In an e-mail interview with A Ganesh Nadar, VinFast India CEO Pham Sanh Chau spoke of how the new facility, which will have a capacity to produce 150,000 cars a year, will also cater to the export market and that's the reason the company chose Thoothukudi, which is home to a major port.


What will be your investment in Thoothukudi?

VinFast has pledged an investment of $500 million, which includes electric vehicle manufacturing in Tamil Nadu, spanning five years from the commencement date.

When is the construction starting and when will it be completed?

We officially broke ground on the first integrated electric vehicle facility in the state of Tamil Nadu on February 25, 2024.

The construction started shortly after. The trial production is expected to commence in 2025.

Will your cars be assembled completely or will they be partially assembled elsewhere?

The initial phase of the project, we will be a CKD (completely knocked down) factory in Thoothukudi. The detailed expansion plan will be announced at the appropriate time.

Will you be sourcing any of your car parts in India?

Yes, our objective is to reach a localisation rate of 50% in the span of five years.

Are you hoping to sell all your cars in India or will they also be exported?

The factory primarily caters to the development objectives in the Indian market.

We are also exploring the opportunity to serve the export demands to other markets. Details will be announced at the appropriate time.

What kind of subsidies and tax rebates has the Government of India and the government of Tamil Nadu promised you?

Considering the tangible economic and social benefits that are engendered due to the establishment of the project, the government of Tamil Nadu also commits to providing cleared land for the manufacturing facilities, uninterrupted power supply, and other infrastructure support on a best-effort basis.

Additionally, both parties will continue to collaborate and discuss opportunities for charging stations to steer toward a clean mobility future.

How many people will be working here, how many Indians among them?

The establishment of VinFast's electric vehicle manufacturing facility is anticipated to generate approximately 3,000 to 3,500 employment opportunities locally.

In addition to creating jobs and improving the skills of the local workforce, VinFast remains dedicated to fostering gender equality and offering career advancement opportunities for the community.

Details will be announced when the project is brought into operations.

What are the qualifications you will be looking for in your Indian workers?

Tamil Nadu were among the top regions to have available skills in English as a second language, along with vocational and technical skills among the local workforce.

We believe these qualifications will significantly fuel VinFast's objective of building a first-class manufacturing centre in the region.

How are you planning to compete against local electric vehicle manufacturers?

VinFast's focus remains on offering electric mobility solutions to everyone through our core values: premium quality products, inclusive pricing, outstanding aftersales.

This strategy will guide our offerings in the Indian market as well.

Tell us about V-Green and Green SM and will they be operating in India?

Spun off from VinFast's charging station development division, V-Green, majority-owned by Mr Pham Nhat Vuong with a 90% stake, will operate as a global partner, spearheading the creation of a comprehensive charging network.

This strategic move will allow V-Green to focus solely on infrastructure investment independently from VinFast, and enable the Vietnamese electric manufacturer to prioritise market expansion and sustainable development.

GSM is the world's first 100% electric ride-hailing platform, offering services like electric taxis, cars, and bikes.

The company primarily focuses on two areas: Ride-hailing services using 100% electric vehicles and electric vehicle rentals.

GSM's objective is to promote the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, increasing public understanding of the convenience, efficiency, and sustainability of eco-friendly vehicles.

Through various initiatives, GSM aims to provide accessibility to VinFast electric vehicles, encouraging the use of eco-friendly and intelligent vehicles in everyday life.

Currently, we will entirely focus on the announced objective. Further details will be announced at the appropriate time.

IMAGE: The Vinfast VF-8 on the road. Photograph: Kind courtesy Vinfast

Is it possible that you will manufacture your vehicles in India instead of only assembling them here?

VinFast is entirely focusing on phase 1 of the manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu. The detailed expansion plan will be announced at the appropriate time.

Will you be also putting up your own power plant in Thoothukudi?

This is not included in our current plan. However, we will consider it depending upon the demand.

Will you be assembling only cars here or are two-wheelers planned in the future?

Initially, VinFast will produce its SUV line-up at the Tamil Nadu facility.

We don't exclude any opportunity to make VinFast an EV brand for everyone.

Therefore, we will actively explore opportunities for other products in VinFast's electric mobility ecosystem including e-scooters, e-bus, and e-bike.

India is a vast country with plenty of sunlight. Is there any plan to put up solar plants?

Dedicated to advancing end-to-end sustainability, we are actively exploring the incorporation of solar-powered solutions in our Tamil Nadu manufacturing facility.

Further details will be announced at the appropriate time.

Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/

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