Vietnams’s Vinfast hopes to make a big splash in the U.S. but things definitely aren’t going swimmingly for the newcomer. The company has announced it is cutting jobs in the U.S before it has delivered a single vehicle.
Vinfast reportedly employs around 150 people in the U.S. and hasn’t revealed how many would be given the chop as the firm restructures. It previously said it was merging its U.S. and Canadian divisions, telling Reuters that it wanted to “streamline” its North American operations. But the changes apparently won’t endanger the jobs of the company’s employees in Vietnam, where the HQ is located and where production and engineering happens.
Vinfast’s first 999 North American customer cars arrived in the U.S. in November and were originally slated to be delivered to their new owners by the end of the year. But that delivery date has now slipped to the end of February while the company applies software updates to the vehicles.
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Though the job losses will be a blow to Vinfast’s U.S. employees, the company could ultimately provide thousands more roles for American workers if it is granted approval for an EV plant in North Carolina. Vinfast expects to hire up to 7,500 people when the plant opens, potentially as early as July 2024. The $4 billion site will include a panel press, body assembly plant and paint shop and could produce 150,000 electric vehicles annually.
Vinfast is also preparing for a potential stock market listing on the Nasdaq, a move which could unlock the funds needed to develop EVs in an increasingly tough market where several carmakers, including Tesla and Ford, have announced aggressive price cuts.