Vietnam-based electric vehicle maker VinFast Auto Ltd commenced construction work for establishing a new integrated EV manufacturing unit at Thoothukudi in southern Tamil Nadu where the company has planned to invest ₹4000 crore, spread over 5 years.

Also read: Chief Minister MK Stalin lays foundation stone for VinFast’s EV plant in South Tamil Nadu

The company broke ground on Sunday as the State Chief Minister M K Stalin kicked off the construction work in the presence of State Ministers, senior government officials and top management of VinFast.

“This EV manufacturing investment by VinFast is the first big-ticket automotive investment in southern Tamil Nadu and this project will further strengthen the state’s image as the hub of automotive manufacturing and EV capital of India,” said Chief Minister M K Stalin.

Last month, the Vietnamese company, which makes and sells electric cars, electric scooters and electric buses, signed an agreement with the Tamil Nadu government to invest ₹16,000 crore over some time.

The company chose Tamil Nadu to set up its EV factory due to skilled workforce, progressive policies of the State government for the EV sector and the presence of the EV manufacturing ecosystem,” Pham Sanh Chau, CEO of VinFast India said at the ground-breaking event at Thoothukudi.

Employment opportunities

The new factory will come up on a 400-acre site located at the industrial park of Tamil Nadu Industrial Promotion Corporation (SIPCOT) in Thoothukudi and it is expected to generate jobs for 3,000 to 3,500 people.

VinFast’s entry into India reaffirms Tamil Nadu’s progressive industrial policies and its role as a global automotive innovation and manufacturing hub. We believe the project will substantially contribute to the local economic advancement, job creation and technical skill development of the people of Tamil Nadu, said TRB Rajaa, Minister for Industries, Investment Promotion and Commerce, government of Tamil Nadu.

The upcoming EV unit is expected to have an annual capacity of up to 1,50,000 units. While it is gathered that the new factory is expected to produce electric cars and electric two-wheelers, company officials declined to comment on the same.

VinFast also plans to establish a nationwide dealer network to build the brand with the commitment of “good cars - good prices - excellent after-sales.

The EV factory will not only cater to the Indian market but will also serve countries in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

It is also learnt that VinFast has requested the Central government for a cut in import duties on its EVs for a couple of years till it establishes its brand and gets its factory commissioned. Top global EV maker, Tesla, has also been seeking a 100 per cent cut on import duty to bring its fully-built EVs into India. However, the Central government has yet to announce its decision.

Also read: Vietnam’s EV maker VinFast to set up integrated unit in TN at $2 billion

VinFast sees India as one of the key markets in its global expansion plan. “Investing in building a factory in Tamil Nadu state not only aims to seize opportunities from the world’s third largest automobile market but also affirms VinFast’s global stature, making an important addition to the production ecosystem. around the world, including an existing factory in Vietnam, a factory under construction in the US and a factory to be built in Indonesia,” it added.