Inside Lego's $1 billion visionary expansion in Vietnam

September 19, 2023 | 11:56
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Nestled within the bustling industrial canvas of Binh Duong province, Danish toy titan Lego is constructing more than just a factory – it's laying down a vision.
Inside Lego's $1 billion visionary expansion in Vietnam

With a staggering $1 billion poured into its newest facility, Lego's investment in Vietnam stands as one of the most significant nods to the country's burgeoning market potential and its appeal as a strategic and sustainable business hub.

Speaking at an event in Binh Duong on September 15, Preben Elnef, vice president of Lego Group and CEO of Lego Manufacturing Vietnam, shared with VIR, "Lego Manufacturing Vietnam is a testament to our evolving global strategy. As our sixth-largest facility, it's a proud milestone for us and our inaugural carbon-neutral plant. Our investments in manufacturing locations are driven by a mix of historical timing, regional financial nuances, and ever-shifting market needs."

“While some facilities are steeped in a decade of history, others, like Vietnam, represent our freshest footprints. Despite the geographical differences, our undying commitment is to consistently deliver top-tier products close to our customer bases,” he added.

As Elnef revealed to VIR, the sprawling facility is poised to release its first Made in Vietnam Lego sets by the latter half of 2024, marking a significant milestone in the company's Asia-focused strategy.

"One of the main factors driving our investment in Vietnam is our unwavering commitment to our customers. We aim to efficiently cater to their evolving demands," Elnef noted.

"But our ardent dedicated to sustainability is another dimension. Our Binh Duong factory is a testament to that, as it is primed to operate on 100 per cent renewable energy," he added.

Indeed, Lego's staunch commitment to green practices manifests itself vividly with the installation of a pioneering 7.4MW solar system atop the factory, marking an impressive stride in Vietnam's industrial ecosystem. This solar initiative is also aligned with the National Power Development Plan VIII that was introduced in Vietnam in May.

"The 7.4MW solar setup is not just about self-reliance. It underscores our commitment to Vietnam's sustainability aspirations and showcases our proactive alignment with the nation's progressive steps towards renewable energy," Elnef proudly pointed out.

Inside Lego's $1 billion visionary expansion in Vietnam

Yet, for Lego, this ambitious foray into Vietnam is not solely characterised by significant financial figures or its sustainable strides. It is the foundation of a deep-seated collaboration and mutual trust with the nation.

Beyond infrastructure and investment, Lego's entry into Vietnam has been marked by a synergistic rapport with the local authorities.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai’s presence at their recent event on September 15 is emblematic of this collaborative spirit.

"It’s about forging lasting partnerships," Elnef emphasised, citing the seamless acquisition of construction permits as evidence of this productive alliance.

Pivoting towards intellectual property (IP) – a pressing concern for global businesses – Lego remains steadfast. With a brand cultivated over decades on the principles of trust, quality, and innovation, the company is unyielding in its approach to IP protection.

Elnef emphasised, "It's vital to understand that, from our vantage point, Vietnam's IP landscape isn't markedly different from many of its global counterparts. At Lego, beyond toy-making, we are engrossed in fostering creativity and learning. With around 25 per cent of our earnings channelled into the Lego Foundation, our commitment extends beyond profit. Our massive global footprint demands rigorous IP protection to preserve the essence and integrity of our brand for future generations."

Looking ahead, with an employment blueprint targeting 4,000 individuals over the next 15 years, Lego's Binh Duong facility is poised to be more than just an economic beacon. It epitomises a fusion of market understanding, green innovations, and lasting partnerships.

Through this venture, Lego is reaffirming its commitment to crafting a more sustainable, connected, and innovative global future.

Tree planting marks milestone for Lego Group in Vietnam Tree planting marks milestone for Lego Group in Vietnam

With its commitment to ensuring its new factory has minimal impact on the environment, Lego Group in Vietnam celebrated the completion of 50,000 trees being planted at the site in the southern province of Binh Duong on September 15.

By Luu Huong

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