Foxconn unveils pickup and crossover models to expand EV lineup

Foxconn has unveiled two new electric vehicles, prototypes that embody the iPhone maker’s ambitions.

Foxconn Technology Group on Tuesday unveiled two new electric vehicles, prototypes that embody the iPhone maker’s ambitions to carve out part of the market led by Tesla Inc.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., a major publicly traded company, unveiled its Model B crossover SUV and Model V pickup truck at an event in Taipei. Foxconn founder Terry Gou, 72, drove the Model B to the stage. Hon Hai Chairman Young Liu said the pickups will be produced in Taiwan, Thailand and the United States.

Foxconn is an Apple Inc. and other global brands hope to replicate the way they assemble electronic components to become the largest manufacturing partners. With no plans to sell the vehicle under its own brand, we aim to build our customers’ electric vehicles from the chassis.

“After announcing plans to produce EVs in 2020, many people have questioned whether Foxconn can make cars,” Liu said. Could we have developed three models in a matter of minutes?’ That’s the speed at which we operate.”

None of the cars Foxconn has unveiled so far are meant to be sold to consumers, but rather a reference design to show off the company’s capabilities to potential big-brand customers. The previously introduced Model C prototype is now a production vehicle branded Luxgen n7 by Taiwanese automaker Yulon Group.

Liu said Foxconn’s expertise in supply chain management has the advantage of developing new models faster than its competitors. When asked when Foxconn’s output will surpass Tesla’s, Liu said he hopes Foxconn will one day produce cars for the American giant.

Using the same platform as Model C, Model B was designed with Italian house Pininfarina SpA. The crossover SUV has a full-length glass roof and can travel 450 km (280 miles) on a single charge.

Foxconn also said it is developing its own solid-state battery.

The Taiwanese company established Foxtron Vehicle Technologies in 2020 as a venture with Yulon. It then took over Lordstown Motors Corp.’s Ohio plant to build a U.S. base, launch an open EV platform, and enter into manufacturing deals with startup Fisker Inc.

Demand for electric vehicles is surging as consumers and governments embrace the technology, triggering a global shift in technology and the automotive industry. But Foxconn is looking to break into an already crowded sector with aggressive rivals from Tesla to China’s Nio Inc., BYD Co., and Xpeng Inc. It is also attracting new entrants, including Xiaomi Corp.

One major point of uncertainty is how the Biden administration’s recently unveiled restrictions on chip exports to China will shake up the global EV industry. Xpeng warned that regulations on chips could potentially hurt Chinese EV manufacturers.

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