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iPhone partner Foxconn shows first EV

Foxcomm's new Foxtron Model C could be our first look at Apple's first electric car.

Foxconn Technology Group unveils all-electric Foxtron Model C sedan and ute

20 Oct 2021

FOXCONN Technology Group – the company that assembles the Apple iPhone – has unveiled its first electric vehicles at the company’s technology day in Taipei this week in a move that could see the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer produce cars for the US consumer-electronics giant.

Foxconn said it plans to build EVs for automotive customers, rather than sell them under its own brand, and that the Model C (pictured) will be sold by “an unspecified automaker outside of Taiwan in the coming years”.

The Model C concept car, which debuted under the Foxtron marque this week, is the culmination of a joint venture between Foxconn Technology Group and Taiwanese automaker Yulon Motor. The vehicle was designed in partnership with Italian design house Pinnfarina and, according to Foxconn, will retail from “less than TWD$1 million” (AUD$47,935).

It will be joined by a utility variant – which will be sold in Taiwan by Yulon Motor from 2023 – and an electric bus the company is producing for an unnamed Taiwanese transportation provider that will go on sale next year.

Foxconn, which agreed to purchase the defunct Lordstown Motors production facility in Ohio last month, is one of several technology companies targeting EVs as a source of growth beyond low-margin electronics assembly. 

The Ohio plant gives Foxconn the assembly capacity, equipment, and staff required to move seamlessly toward electric vehicle manufacture, while also strengthening its already close ties with Apple (Apple now accounts for about 50 per cent of Foxconn’s annual sales).

“We are no longer the new kid in town. We have gradually built an EV supply chain and showcased our EV hardware,” Foxconn Hon Hai Precision Industry chairman Young Liu said.

Despite the progress, industry analysts say an Apple EV is still “years away” and that recent setbacks, including the departure of Apple’s car project head to Ford, could further delay the company’s plans. 

Apple has not disclosed specific plans or timing for its first car, but suggestions that Foxconn could revive production of Lordstown’s Endurance electric ute are piquing interest in the Taiwanese company’s latest developments.

Foxconn, which makes products for companies including Apple, Blackberry, Google (Pixel), Kindle, Microsoft, Nintendo, Nokia, Sony, and Xiaomi also boast manufacturing deals with Fisker, Stellantis, and Zhejiang Geely Holdings, as well as Thailand’s state-owned conglomerate PTT.

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