Over the past decade, Foxconn Technology Group has followed increasingly complex plans from Apple Inc. to turn silicon, glass, plastic, copper and other materials into hundreds of millions of iPhones. And Apple is just one of the Taiwanese company’s dozens of A-list customers; Google, Microsoft, Sony and many others have hired it to make phones, computers, tablets, game consoles, servers and more. So it’s not much of a stretch to think Foxconn might do the same for cars.
Last year, Foxconn paid $230 million for a former General Motors Co. factory in Lordstown, Ohio, aiming to make it the center of a US auto-manufacturing push. As part of the deal, the previous owner of the 6.2 million-square-foot plant, four-year-old Lordstown Motors Corp., hired Foxconn to build its Endurance pickup truck, and the Taiwanese company took a stake in the startup.
Foxconn has made grand predictions for its auto business, saying it will generate $33 billion in annual revenue by 2025. And it’s announced partnerships in Taiwan, Thailand and Saudi Arabia. Although its electric vehicle components business is on track to grow fivefold to more than $3 billion this year, at this point the only vehicles Foxconn has made are a handful of prototypes, a few dozen electric buses and about 40 pickups for Lordstown.