VinFast Petitions for EV Import Tax Cut in India with New Plant Underway

Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer VinFast is seeking temporary relief from India’s import duties on electric vehicles (EVs) to introduce its products to the Indian market. The request comes as the company begins construction on a manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, aiming to kickstart production by mid-next year, with plans for both domestic sales and eventual exports, according to VinFast’s India CEO, Pham Sanh Chau.

Last month, VinFast and the government of Tamil Nadu announced their collaboration on a project potentially worth up to US$2 billion, with an immediate commitment of US$500 million planned for the initial five years. VinFast’s request mirrors a similar plea by Tesla, seeking a reduction in India’s steep 100% import duty on fully assembled EVs—a proposal that has met resistance from local car manufacturers. The Indian government, currently the custodian of the world’s third-largest vehicle market, is still deliberating on these requests, with no official stance disclosed as of yet.

Pham Sanh Chau elaborated on the proposal during the groundbreaking event in Thoothukudi district, suggesting a temporary duty reduction to 70-80% for a fixed two-year period and for a limited quantity of vehicles. This strategic move aims to acquaint Indian consumers with VinFast’s offerings while the manufacturing plant becomes operational. “The central government is still considering it. But while waiting for the final decision of the central government, we move ahead with our construction of the manufacturing facility,” he stated.


Electric vehicles currently represent a mere 2% of car sales in India. However, with the government’s ambitious target to increase this to 30% by 2030, initiatives are underway to attract EV manufacturers to the country. VinFast’s upcoming facility in Tamil Nadu is expected to have an annual production capacity of up to 150,000 units, supplementing its primary manufacturing hub in Vietnam, which has a capacity of 250,000 vehicles.

Pham Sanh Chau, who previously served as Vietnam’s ambassador to India, revealed that VinFast is already engaging with approximately 55 Indian dealers to establish a robust sales network. The company is also considering the future introduction of its two-wheeler models to the Indian market. Emphasizing VinFast’s dynamic approach, Pham Sanh Chau noted, “As a startup company, we move fast,” highlighting the company’s agility and commitment to expanding its global footprint in the electric vehicle sector.

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