Foxconn Tesla? Taiwan tech giant to target 5% of EV manufacturing by 2025

Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn, best known for assembling Apple’s iPhones, said Tuesday it hopes to build a car for Tesla.

Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn, best known for assembling Apple’s iPhones, said Tuesday it hopes to one day build cars for Tesla as it ramps up electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing as a strategy to diversify its business.

At the company’s annual Tech Day, Chairman Liu Young-way said he wants to replicate the level of success in consumer device assembly as Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, expands into building EVs for car brands.

“According to historical records for the PC and mobile phone markets … we have around 40-45% of the total market share. So from an ambitious perspective, hopefully we are the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry, but by 2025 it will be around 5%. We’ll start small,” he said.

“I hope one day we can build a Tesla car for Tesla.”

Tesla, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment, is producing all electric vehicles in-house and is rapidly expanding its production capacity.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk upset many in Taiwan this month by suggesting that tensions between China and Taiwan could be resolved by transferring some control over Taiwan to Beijing this month.

Liu said Foxconn isn’t in the business of selling its own EV brand, but rather that customers want to sell “many” EVs that will be manufactured in Taiwan, Thailand and the United States. Foxconn is negotiating with partners in Indonesia and India, Liu added.

The company has expanded into electric vehicles and semiconductors in recent years, announcing deals with US startup Fisker Inc and Indian conglomerate Vedanta Ltd.

Foxconn is leveraging its “48-year roots in ICT manufacturing” to cut EV design time in half and cut development costs by a third, Liu said.

The Luxgen n7, an EV built by Foxtron, a joint venture between Foxconn and Taiwanese automaker Yulon Motor Co Ltd, took 15,000 pre-orders in just two days, Liu added.

“Despite the European conflict and the global coronavirus problem, Foxconn has maintained our EV strategy,” said Liu.

“Supply chain resilience has always been Foxconn’s DNA. Our global presence in 24 countries gives us a huge advantage in meeting the needs of the EV industry.”

The annual tech showcase takes place on the birthday of the company’s billionaire founder, Terry Gou. Introduced as a special guest, Gou drove on stage in a Model B sporty crossover hatchback, one of two prototypes unveiled this year.

Another prototype revealed was the Model V, an all-terrain pickup. Three prototypes of SUVs, sedans and buses were unveiled last year, and Foxtron’s electric buses are already in service in select cities in Taiwan.

“Our sincere hope is for Taiwan to seize this once-in-a-century EV business opportunity,” said Liu.

Foxconn shares fell 1.4% on Tuesday, beating the benchmark, which rose 1.2%. The stock has fallen 0.5% this year to a market cap of $45.5 billion.

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