VinFast sales, marketing executives exit car company as delays mount

VinFast, the Vietnamese automaker with plans to assemble cars in North Carolina, confirmed the departures of three chief executives on Friday, a week after the company announced it would delay the opening of its multibillion-dollar facility in Chatham County.

In a statement provided to The News & Observer on Friday, a VinFast spokesperson said the company’s deputy chief executive for global sales and marketing “left due to personal reasons,” while its chief marketing officer and chief service officer “left due to changes in management model and specific requirements of the business.”

In January, VinFast consolidated its North American operations, a move the company said would result in eliminated positions.

VinFast’s entrance into the U.S. auto market has been uneven. In November, the company shipped its first 1,000 electric SUVs to California with the aim of getting them to customers by the end of 2022. But the cars went undelivered as VinFast implemented software updates to extend their mileage range.

On March 1, the company announced it had delivered its first 45 cars to U.S. customers.

NC site delay

Last Friday, VinFast confirmed it wouldn’t begin operating its North Carolina assembly plant until 2025, a year later than originally planned. The site is to be the company’s first U.S. factory and is set to occupy 2,150 acres southwest of Raleigh near the Chatham County town of Moncure.

In a statement, a VinFast spokesperson said this delay was due to the company needing “more time to complete administrative procedures.”

Construction on the site has not yet begun. Before VinFast can put a shovel in the ground, it has to obtain permits from Chatham County, including a stormwater plan and initial building permits for footing and foundation.

“All of the permitting processes with Chatham County are progressing as we would expect of any other applicant,” said county spokesperson Kara Dudley.

About a year ago, VinFast unveiled its plans to build in North Carolina. According to its incentive agreement with the state, the automaker intends to employ 7,500 people and invest $4 billion into vehicle assembly and battery plants near Moncure.

Last week, a VinFast spokesperson said the company has “already started clearing the site in preparation for heavy construction and expect to begin soon.”

This story was produced with financial support from a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work.

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