Foxconn buys Ohio EV factory for $280 million, wants to become the Android of electric...

nanoguy

Posts: 1,018   +14
Staff member
In context: It's no secret that Foxconn has set its sights on electric vehicles. Parent company Hon Hai Precision has been making bank on assembling iPhones and PCs, but it also wants a piece of the EV pie, especially as governments are pushing for the electrification of everything.

Recently, the Taiwanese company purchased Lordstown Motors Corp.'s electric truck factory in Ohio. The deal is valued at $280 million, and will allow the struggling EV startup to stay afloat, while Foxconn gets to have its first ever EV factory. The latter company will also build Lordstown Motors' electric pickup truck at the facility while it pursues its own electric car projects.

Foxconn has been trying to establish a significant presence in the US for years, but only managed to build a factory in Wisconsin that could, at most, build robotic coffee houses. This was originally supposed to be an LCD manufacturing plant, but Foxconn has given up on that goal and also reduced its planned investment to just $672 million from $10 billion.

When Lordstown Motors bought the Ohio facility from General Motors, it poured $240 million into retooling it to build its Endurance electric pickup truck. However, it has struggled financially ever since, and is now the subject of two separate probes from the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Foxconn Chairman Young Liu says the Lordstown factory will help spearhead the company's EV efforts, as it was already planning to build an EV factory in North America. Earlier this year, Liu told investors during an earning call that Foxconn was planning to invest up to $1 billion into a manufacturing plant that would be capable of producing 10,000 electric cars per month.

The Taiwanese company has been talking up plans to build the "Android system of the EV industry," which is essentially a barebones EV platform that big brands and startups can customize to their linking. The project is dubbed MIH, and already has over 400 companies backing it, including Texas Instruments, ST Micro, Amazon Web Services, MediaTek, and Qualcomm.

This new open-source EV platform is key to Foxconn's "3+3" plan to improve its gross margins to at least 10 percent by 2025. By expanding into electric cars, the company is greatly increasing its chances of reaching that goal. Liu says the target is to manufacture three million electric vehicles annually by 2027, which would be 10 percent of the estimated global volume for that year.

To that end, the company has been forging partnerships with companies like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Fisker, the latter of which plans to make over 250,000 electric cars per year in the US with Foxconn's help. At the same time, there's a flurry of EV startups looking to disrupt big automakers, and Foxconn could help them figure out how to cheaply manufacture electric vehicles that sell for tens of thousands of dollars each.

Manufacturing EVs is much more challenging that consumer electronics, but Liu is confident the company has the drive and expertise to overcome any challenges. Its main advantage over traditional automakers is speed, but that will depend on whether the company can develop the necessary supply chain, especially when it comes to sourcing the large volume of batteries needed to make electric vehicles.

It's also possible that Apple might lend a hand to Foxconn during its expansion into electric vehicles. Not much is known about the state of the Cupertino giant's EV project, but it's definitely high up on CEO Tim Cook's agenda. Cook will reportedly retire only after overseeing the release of one major new product category, and that could be an electric car or a mixed reality headset.

In the meantime, Foxconn is building an EV manufacturing plant in Thailand that is expected to begin rolling out 50,000 units by 2023 and ramp up to 150,000 units per year by 2030. At the same time, the company is working out deals with battery makers and recently bought a Taiwanese chip plant to secure much-needed semiconductors for EVs.

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scavengerspc

Posts: 1,731   +1,787
TechSpot Elite
Are they taking the building back home? Because if they think they are going to sh** on their work force like they do there, they are in for massive culture shock on how to treat people.

It's also possible that Apple might lend a hand to Foxconn during its expansion into electric vehicles
Of course they will. They have so much in common.
 

JKnight

Posts: 156   +228
Racine County, Wisconsin has a different opinion with an empty one million square foot Foxconn plant that is just sitting collecting dust. They are not a great candidate as they're freaking liars that treat everyone not in Foxconn management as fat fingered fools.

The state and local government spent money setting up the infrastructure but Foxconn failed to deliver. They have only hired 530 full-time employees instead of the 13000 initially promised.
 

Bullwinkle M

Posts: 586   +468
"The Taiwanese company has been talking up plans to build the "Android system of the EV industry," which is essentially a barebones EV platform that big brands and startups can customize to their linking."

We've had that basic idea for years now but nobody has seen it through

It will work if they do away with all the computer control and tracking of the vehicle

The way to be #1 in the EV industry is to make a bare bones system with accelerator / brakes and lights (nothing more)

Leave the Spyware / Malware and remote updates to Microsoft and home computers

Just give me the foundation to make a truck / van or camper from a single foundation and leave the computers out

End users need the option to update our vehicle entertainment systems as we see fit and replace it with newer systems at a later date
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,851   +2,204
TechSpot Elite
This is something that I don't understand. The US government bans Huawei from selling phones in the USA because of their "fear of Chinese spying" but allows FOXCONN to buy an auto plant in Ohio to make electric vehicles? Foxconn may be technically Taiwanese but it has so many facilities on the mainland that there's no way that they're not in bed with the Chinese government. They're the largest single employer in China which means that their loyalties lie with China just as a matter of financial reality.

I'm fairly certain that a car can spy far better than a phone. When something doesn't add up, it usually means that the person talking is either feeding us feces or is clueless. Since there's no reality in which I can image the US government being clueless, I think that they're full of it instead.
 

dangh

Posts: 320   +463
Or maybe, just maybe, banning Huawei had nothing to do with spying but with trump being trump? It was to show the power, not to address issue which probably do not exist.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,826   +4,476
Or maybe, just maybe, banning Huawei had nothing to do with spying but with trump being trump? It was to show the power, not to address issue which probably do not exist.
If that was the case Biden would have reversed the decision almost immediately.

Maybe, just maybe, not everything Trump did was The Big Bad and there was justification for banning Huawei? Food for thought.
Well, if Toyota not gonna do it, someone has to. Foxconn is a great candidate really.
The japanese are not convinced that EVs are magical pixie dust that will save us all. Unlike western pundits, the japanese are willing to say the quiet part out loud, from infastructure not being up to task to lithium battery productiona nd recycling not being where it needs to be to range and longevity concerns. Toyota is still investing into hydrogen cars and other alt fuels because everybody knows those super magic batteries are nto coming anytime soon.

See, there's a saying in the car world "just 2 more years!" because much like fusion reactors, the EV revolution is always "just 2 years" away. A EV with a 400 mile range will come out in "just 2 more years!". EVs will take over the semi truck industery in "just 2 more years!".

Meanwhile: in reality

Lordstown motors has to sell their factory to Foxxconn because they've run out of cash. Again. And still dont have a ready product. Rivian is still delaying products,a nd the final specs of their truck are nowhere near promised. Fisker has only mock ups to show. Tesla so far is the only company that has managed to succesfully build a brand, and only through musk's sheer stubbornness.

Toyota wont dump billions on a young technology that is still decades away from maturity.