Some companies have a deep social mission. Some companies spend years trying to figure out who they are and why they exist. And some companies are just on a march to squeeze as much money out of people as possible. I think it’s safe to say that Foxconn fits into the third group there — in fact, it’s quite infamous for that. So, when you see Foxconn working feverishly to shift its focus from one technology to another, there’s a good sign that the younger technology is on a solid track and ready to rack up a lot of revenue.
Foxconn is the largest electronics manufacturer in the world, and it sees the global chip shortage as a threat to its business. The chip shortage has hit Apple Macs and iPads, and it’s expected to take a dent out of iPhone production/sales soon. Foxconn assembles iPhones. Foxconn has apparently been looking intently for another high-growth market to jump into, and the #1 find was the electric vehicle market. (Note: the car market has also been struggling from the chip shortage, but the rapid shift from fossil fuel vehicles to electric vehicles is resulting in a booming EV market nonetheless.)
“Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics producer, on Thursday said it will build electric vehicle manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Thailand next year, as the key iPhone assembler accelerates efforts to catch the rising EV wave to offset the slowing smartphone industry,” NIKKEI ASIA writes.
That’s not to say that this path comes out of nowhere and it’s a haphazard, frantic sidestep. Foxconn has been working its way into the EV market for years. In January 2020, Steve Hanley wrote that Fiat and Foxconn had partnered up to create electric vehicles for the Chinese market. In October 2020, he wrote about an electric vehicle platform Foxconn had developed.
In fact, Foxconn is so bullish on EVs that it wants to buy chip factories to get around the chip problem itself! “Foxconn, formally called Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, had been seeking to buy chip plants to stabilise supplies for its new business in electric vehicles (EV) – a sector in which it plans to become a major player by between 2025 and 2027,” Reuters reports. “EV is likely to bring in revenue of more than T$10 billion this year, representing a 40% increase from a year ago, with growth expected to be even higher next year, [Foxconn Chairman Liu Young-way] said.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported last month that Foxconn was in talks with the state of Wisconsin to build electric vehicles there. “As part of the site selection process, Foxconn and Fisker have engaged with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to discuss plans for electric vehicle manufacturing,” Foxconn and Fisker said in a statement. “Foxconn and Fisker look forward to discussions with the WEDC.”
Wisconsin would certainly appreciate some future-focused manufacturing jobs, and perhaps even better news, we won’t have to worry about Foxconn using child labor and paying poverty wages. Let’s see how long it takes until we have some solid news on this, though, and machinery is getting installed to start building cars. In the meantime, here are some promotional videos regarding Foxconn’s MIH EV Open Platform and MIH Open EV Alliance:
Featured image courtesy of Foxconn