Young Liu, Chairman and CEO of Taiwan-based electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn, affirmed during the firm’s annual Hon Hai Tech Day on October 18 that “Foxconn will not sell its own brand of electric vehicles.” However, the executive added, “I hope one day we can produce electric cars for Tesla.”
As the leading assembler of Apple’s iPhone and the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, Foxconn obviously doesn’t want to stop at electronic products, but plans to expand its business into the transportation sector. According to public information, as early as 2005, it acquired 100% equity of AnTec Electric System Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of cables, electronic equipment and electron components of motor vehicles, thus beginning to enter the automotive electronics field.
Since then, the company has gradually deployed various operations involving the automobile industry. In 2013, it successively became a supplier of Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and other car companies. In 2014, Foxconn announced cooperation with Chinese automobile manufacturer BAIC Group to jointly invest in the new generation of batteries. In 2015, the new trend of electric vehicle manufacturing emerged in China, and Foxconn joined hands with Tencent and China Harmony Auto to jointly establish Future Mobility Corporation, through which it expanded its automobile business to the whole vehicle field. However, in 2017, Foxconn and Tencent withdrew from the new company.
After its official announcement regarding automobile manufacturing in 2020, Foxconn has continuously expanded potential business opportunities in the field of EVs. Following the establishment of Foxtron and the MIH platform together with Yulon Group in 2020, Foxconn has also established different forms of business cooperation models with BYTON and Geely.
In 2022, Foxconn acquired a factory from Lordstown Motors, an Ohio, US-based commercial electric light truck supplier, thereby establishing a North American EV manufacturing base. It also cooperated with EV firm Fisker. According to Liu, it is estimated that Fisker’s new generation of production cars will only take 24 months to move from concept to mass production, which can be reduced by more than half compared with the traditional production time.
At this year’s event, Foxconn also released two new cars, including the hatchback Model B and the electric pickup truck Model V, as well as the production version of the Model C. Liu said at the event that Foxconn hopes that these two prototypes can provide design reference for companies planning to outsource the manufacturing of EVs.
Although its EV business is still in the early stages, Foxconn has set ambitious goals. “Based on our past record in the PC and mobile phone market… Our market share is about 40 to 45 percent,” Liu said. “So, we hope to achieve the same results as in the ICT industry. But, we will set a ‘small goal’ first, aiming to account for about 5% of the overall market by 2025.”
However, considering that all Tesla EVs are still produced by its own factories, and it has been rapidly expanding its own manufacturing capacity lately, Foxconn’s vision of working for Tesla will require further time to develop.