- Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, wants to make your next car.
- The Taiwanese giant collects iPhones, iPads and all kinds of other devices.
- It is making deals to build cars for electric car startups and one day wants to build cars for Tesla.
There’s a good chance your next electric car—perhaps your first electric car—will be made by the same company as the iPhone you’re holding right now.
And no, we’re not talking about Apple’s long-rumored autonomous car, which Bloomberg reports has been delayed until 2026 . Nor is Google preparing its own Tesla competitor.
Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics giant that assembles all kinds of popular devices including the iPhone, iPad, Kindle and Nintendo Switch, is diving head first into the world of electric cars. But rather than sell EVs under its own brand, it wants to design and build cars for established automakers and a new crop of EV startups.
In other words, what Foxconn currently does for Apple, it hopes to do for Tesla. In October, Foxconn’s chairman said the company aims to one day account for 40-45% of the world’s electricity production, matching its success in electronics.
Foxconn unveiled its first EV prototypes last year and has wasted little time building a roster of automotive customers. Earlier this year, the iPhone maker bought a former General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio from struggling auto startup Lordstown Motors. Lordstown Motors recently began supplying customers with electric pickup trucks manufactured by Foxconn.
Fisker, another EV startup, tapped Foxconn to build its second car, the Pear, in Ohio starting in 2024. And it’s sealed with a partnership with Taiwan’s Yulon Motor.
Volkswagen is considering hiring Foxconn to build its new Scout-brand electric SUV and pickup truck for U.S. buyers, Germany’s Automobilwoche reported in November.
Foxconn’s foray into electric cars is a smart move, Bill Russo, founder and CEO of Automobility, a Shanghai-based auto industry consultancy, told Insider. The company has been very successful in the capital-intensive parts of electronics manufacturing, in part because it can buy components in such large volumes. And, he said, it’s well-positioned to do the same for automakers looking to reduce the huge investment needed to develop and bring a car to market.
In addition, cars are becoming increasingly Internet-connected and computerized, requiring more and more electronic components that Foxconn is familiar with.
“It’s very similar to the devices that Foxconn is building today. A lot of screens, a lot of chips, a lot of things that they know how to buy in significant enough volume,” Russo said.
Tu Le, CEO of automotive consultancy Sino Auto Insights, said Foxconn’s entry would be a boon for EV startups that don’t have the cash to build their own factories. US newcomers Rivian and Lucid have spent huge sums setting up their own factories, but not all electronics start-ups have such access to capital.
“There will be multiple asset-based EV startups coming out in the next 24 to 30 months in the United States, and they will need a factory with the capacity to sell their finished products. wholesale price,” he said.
And Le could see existing automakers without strong union ties, like Tesla, one day outsourcing production to Foxconn. But first, the company needs to prove it can produce electric SUVs and pickup trucks to the same standards as its iPads and iPhones.
“It’s a ton of opportunity in front of them if they can prove that the first cars that roll off the line in Ohio have the highest quality, the highest reliability and the highest safety standards that Americans expect,” Le said.