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iPhone Assembler Foxconn Confirms it Will Build an Electric Vehicle Factory in the U.S.

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【Summary】As the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer, Taiwanese company Foxconn has assembled millions of smartphones and computers for some of the world’s top companies. But as modern electric vehicles essentially transform into “computers on wheels”, it's fitting that Foxconn will add electric vehicle production to its portfolio. The company chairman confirmed on Thursday that it will build an EV factory in the U.S.

Eric Walz    Aug 13, 2021 12:15 PM PT
iPhone Assembler Foxconn Confirms it Will Build an Electric Vehicle Factory in the U.S.

As the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer, Taiwanese company Foxconn has assembled millions of smartphones and computers for some of the world's top companies, including hundreds of millions of iPhones for computer giant Apple Inc.  

But as modern electric vehicles essentially transform into "computers on wheels", its only fitting that Foxconn will add electric vehicle production to its portfolio.

Foxconn's Chairman, Young Liu, confirmed to news outlet Nikkei Asia on Thursday that the company will build an EV factory in the U.S. and another in Thailand. 

Foxconn is currently in negotiations with three U.S. states to build a manufacturing plant in North America. A possible location could be Wisconsin, where Foxconn amended its former plan of investing $10 billion in the state in 2017. 

The plans will help Foxconn diversify away from smartphones, sales of which are slowing. But it will position Foxconn as a key player in the growing electric vehicle market around the world. The company also plans to produce automotive semiconductors and other key components of EVs.

"Our plans are to begin mass production in the U.S. and Thailand respectively in 2023," Foxconn Chairman Young Liu told investors in an earnings call. "Other than in the U.S. and Thailand, we are also in talks with possible locations in Europe too as part of our global EV footprint strategy."

According to Nikkei Asia, the Thailand factory will be part of Foxconn's joint venture with Thai oil and gas conglomerate PTT to develop a platform for EV and component production. The facility will address the Thai market initially and gradually export to countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Planned annual capacity will reach 150,000 to 200,000 EVs, Chairman Lui said.

Foxconn has also set up an open hardware and software platform called the "MIH EV Open Platform". It includes an EV chassis, electronic architecture and support for autonomous driving. Foxconn will supply automakers with key components for their EVs, but it will also help EV startups by supplying the production capability to bring their vehicles to market.

EV startup and Tesla challenger Fisker Inc. recently announced that Foxconn will build its second EV. Its first EV, the Fisker Ocean, is being built by automotive contract manufacturer Magna Steyr in Austria. 

In Feb, Fisker first announced today it entered into a MOU with Foxconn to develop what it calls a "breakthrough electric vehicle" codenamed "Project PEAR" (Personal Electric Automotive Revolution). Projected annual volumes are more than 250,000 units. Production of the new Fisker EV is planned for Q4 2023.

Fisker says that its collaboration with Foxconn is poised to revolutionize the traditional automotive business model by introducing Foxconn's efficient "Information and Communication Technology" (ICT) capabilities in electric vehicle production at scale, which can help automakers produce a new vehicle in as little as two years.

In Oct 2020, Foxconn announced that it aims to provide components or services to around 10% of the world's electric vehicles (EVs) between 2025 and 2027. Chairman Liu said his company has been in talks with multiple car manufacturers for future cooperation.


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