This coastal town is all set to become the third auto cluster of Tamil Nadu after Chennai and Hosur as Chief Minister M.K. Stalin is laying foundation stone for Vietnam-based VinFast Auto’s electric car manufacturing facility on February 25.
Interestingly, Tamil Nadu has become the only State in the country to have three auto clusters with the arrival of VinFast Auto on Thoothukudi outskirts. The State government has inked an MoU with VinFast at the recently held Global Investors’ Meet in Chennai envisaging investment of ₹16,000 crore in multiple phases for manufacturing the electric cars from its upcoming production unit in Thoothukudi. When the assured quantum of ₹16,000 crore is invested, the state-of-the-art facility will have the capacity to manufacture one lakh electric cars annually.
“Since Thoothukudi is advantageously situated with a seaport, there is every possibility of VinFast starting its export of electric cars from VOC Port. In that case, it will go in for expansion for increased production with more investments, which means more employment generation,” V. Vishnu, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Guidance Tamil Nadu, told The Hindu.
Mr. Vishnu, along with K. Senthil Raj, former Collector of Thoothukudi and Managing Director of SIPCOT, inspected the 408 acres of land allotted to VinFast in SIPCOT at Sillanatham village. They inspected the infrastructure created in the site like roads, power, sewage channels,etc. District Revenue Officer S. Ajay Srinivasan, Revenue Divisional Officer of Thoothukudi M. Prabhu and Project Officer of SIPCOT Jones Mary Selvarani briefed them on the planned infrastructure.
Mr. Vishnu said the massive investment by VinFast in Thoothukudi would certainly have a positive ‘ripple effect’ in neighbouring Tirunelveli district also which already houses German major Bosch which manufactures powertrain sensors, fuel delivery modules, air management components, etc., from its facility at Gangaikondan.
Moreover, TP Solar has established its 4 GW solar photovoltaic cell and 4 GW solar module manufacturing facility at Gangaikondan. “We expect that the VinFast’s EV facility in Thoothukudi will source some components from these two majors in future which in turn will create new employment opportunities in Tirunelveli,” Mr. Vishnu said.