From iPhone to electric car: Foxconn aims to become the largest car manufacturer

Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, earlier this week signaled plans to have customers sell large electric vehicles made in Taiwan, Thailand and the United States, and possibly in the future in India and Indonesia. The ambition is part of the Taiwanese company’s plans to boost its electric car business to help it diversify away from its role in assembling consumer devices like iPhones for Apple and other tech companies.

At the company’s annual technology day, chairman Liu Young-way explained that with an industry alliance known as the Mobility in Harmony platform, Foxconn is “opening up the closed nature of traditional technology manufacturing. cars” to halve design time and reduce production costs by a third. “Foxconn is not in the business of selling its own brand of electric vehicles, but we want our customers to sell a lot of electric cars,” Liu said.

It’s a way to attract more investors, as shares of the tech company have lost 28% in markets since the start of the year. With this long-term goal in mind, the management team intends to diversify its business lines to recover from the current onslaught in the equity markets. “The expansion of its network can serve as a guarantee for the future and for more players to enter its capital,” Atlantic Capital analysts said in a note.

In recent years, the company has expanded into other areas, including electric vehicles and semiconductors, announcing deals with US start-up Fisker and Indian conglomerate Vedanta. She did so at a time when trade relations between the US and China are not looking good due to the conflict with Taiwan.

The three prototypes unveiled last year – an SUV, a sedan and a bus – will be “gradually” produced in Taiwan, Thailand and the United States, and Foxconn is currently negotiating with partners in Indonesia and India, Mr. Liu. “We sincerely hope that Taiwan can take advantage of this rare, once-in-a-century electric vehicle business opportunity,” he said.

Its Ohio auto plant, the first in the United States, will have a production capacity of 500,000 to 600,000 cars a year, the company’s chief executive said. The Thai plant will produce up to 200,000 vehicles a year in about two years, according to the company. Taiwanese production will be mainly centered on Yulon Motor’s factory in Miaoli.

“For our electric car business … production is mostly overseas in different countries,” Liu said. “We will employ most of the staff for our new electric car business locally, where the production bases are. Currently, we have no electricity-related production in China,” he said.

Foxconn prototypes unveiled last year

Extension to electric cars

Foxconn reiterated its goal of capturing 5% of the global EV market, a T$1 trillion revenue contribution, by 2025. EVs will be able to reach the level we have reached in the information and communication technology sector,” said Mr . Liu. Foxconn has about 40-45% market share in the manufacturing of ICT devices, including computers, telephones, networking products and servers.

The technology company has entered into agreements with several global partners to develop its electric vehicle activities, notably with Indonesian miner Indika Energy for the manufacture of batteries and electric buses, as well as with Thai public company PTT for local construction of electric cars. Foxconn has also partnered with Stellantis, the world’s fourth largest car group and owner of Fiat, to develop semiconductors and smart cockpits. It has also begun producing test chips in silicon carbide, a key semiconductor, for electric vehicles. Mass production of chips is planned for the second half of next year.

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