Vietnam conglomerate Vingroup said that the company’s auto unit, VinFast, would seek financing from the US government to support its expansion with a planned plant in North Carolina, Reuters reported on Saturday.

“It is also one of our financing options, but we need to prove to them that we are qualified,” Vingroup Chairman Pham Nhat Vuong was quoted as saying, as he told a group including reporters.

The news came after VinFast announced recently that its Singapore-based holding company had filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with US securities regulators. VinFast is in the midst of preparing a $4-billion investment to build a factory in the US.

Vuong also said VinFast was committed to an IPO that would help establish the electric vehicle maker as a global brand but said: “if the conditions are not right we can wait.”

“We ourselves are determined to push and committed to this IPO, but the highest target for the IPO is not financing but to set up VinFast in the global market,” he reportedly told the group.

Lending from the US government’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (AVTM) loan program was another option VinFast was exploring, Vuong said.

According to Reuters, the $25-billion fund was established by Congress in 2007 when Detroit-based automakers were tipping into crisis. It is administered by the Department of Energy and still has a lending capacity of almost $18 billion, according to its website.

Vinfast also announced earlier that it had signed a preliminary deal to initially invest $2 billion to build a factory in North Carolina, US to make electric buses, sport utility vehicles and batteries for electric vehicles.

VinFast also announced in January it is looking for an EV production site in Germany. StoreDot, an Israeli extreme fast charging (XFC) battery firm, announced in the same month the first close of its Series D funding round of up to $80 million, led by VinFast.

Founded in 2017, VinFast, a member of Vingroup, is headquartered in Hanoi. The carmaker boasts a vehicle production facility in Haiphong, Vietnam, that will have the capacity to produce 950,000 vehicles per year by 2026.

The company has established global operations in the US, Canada, Germany, France and the Netherlands. The company currently provides an ecosystem of EV products in its home country of Vietnam, including e-scooters, electric buses and electric cars, charging station systems and green energy solutions.

Established in 1993, Vingroup is one of the leading private conglomerates in the region, with a total capitalization of $35 billion from three publicly traded companies, as of Nov 4, 2021). Vingroup currently focuses on three main areas: Technology and Industry, Services and Social Enterprise.

Featured image credits: VinFast

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