Vietnam’s VinFast to set up EV battery plant in India -sources

By Praveen Paramasivam and Phuong Nguyen

CHENNAI/HANOI (Reuters) -Vietnamese electric vehicle maker VinFast is set to open its first Indian manufacturing facility, where it will make batteries, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, three people familiar with the matter said.

The company will make batteries for EVs at the plant in the city of Thoothukudi, one of the people said, adding that this was separate from its previously announced plans to assemble vehicles shipped in parts from Vietnam.

VinFast, which competes with carmakers such as Tesla and China’s BYD, declined to comment. An announcement by the company on the new plant is expected in coming days, two people said.

VinFast said in a statement on Wednesday that it would reveal details of its plans at “an appropriate time”.

A spokesperson for the Tamil Nadu government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Several VinFast officials have visited Thoothukudi district in Tamil Nadu to check out sites,” a fourth source, a senior official directly involved in the matter, said on Tuesday.

Reuters reported in September VinFast had begun hiring for sales, legal and back office jobs in India, seeking recruits who “dare to think, dare to do, and dare to face difficulties.”

It is not immediately clear what the size of the investment is or when a VinFast factory will become operational in Tamil Nadu.

VinFast in October said it would build assembly factories in India and Indonesia, with each of them having a capacity of up to 50,000 cars per year and capital expenditure of up to $200 million initially. It added production will commence in 2026.

Separately, Green SM, EV taxi operator, mostly owned by VinFast’s founder, also plans to establish in India, the world’s third-largest automotive market, VinFast CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy told Reuters in October.

VinFast is also open to bringing both e-scooters and e-cars to India, the first source said.

Tamil Nadu’s capital city Chennai, dubbed the Detroit of Asia, and other districts already are host to several EV players including Indian two-wheeler makers Ola Electric and Ather as well as China’s BYD.

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Chennai and Phuong Nguyen in Hanoi; editing by Jason Neely and Tomasz Janowski)