Hon Hai, U.S. partner in talks to make electric cars in Wisconsin

07/09/2021 10:25 PM
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Hon Hai
Hon Hai's MIH EV development concept. CNA file photo

Taipei, July 9 (CNA) Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer, confirmed Friday that it is holding talks on building electric vehicles in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, but stressed that the plans were not yet final.

"Foxconn has engaged the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to discuss the company's plans for electric vehicle manufacturing," the company said in a statement, using the name by which it is known internationally.

"Foxconn is optimistic about our partnership with WEDC and looks forward to ongoing discussions," it said, adding that a final decision and firm timetable on the plan had yet to be reached.

Meanwhile, in a statement to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Thursday, the company said that it and its partner, the California-based electric vehicle (EV) maker Fisker Inc., had held talks with the WEDC "as part of the site selection process."

Hon Hai and Fisker signed a framework agreement in May to establish an electric vehicle production site in the U.S., while stipulating that the sides would use the MIH Open Platform promoted by Hon Hai to develop vehicles to be sold under the Fisker brand.

Many speculated then that the project would be based in Wisconsin, where Hon Hai had previously planned a US$10 billion factory investment to make flat panel displays, before massively scaling it back earlier this year.

The company said at the time, however, that it was also evaluating other potential production sites, with the goal of manufacturing around 250,000 electric vehicles annually.

In recent years, Hon Hai has made electric vehicles a central component of its efforts to expand beyond its contract manufacturing business, under what it refers to as the "3 plus 3" initiative.

Specifically, the name refers to three emerging industries -- electric cars, robots and digital healthcare -- that are being developed through the application of artificial intelligence, semiconductor and communication technologies.

(By Chang Chien-chung and Matthew Mazzetta)

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