Taiwan’s Foxconn — a principle Apple manufacturer — might soon join forces with Fiat Chrysler to develop electric cars.
Best known for making iPhones for Apple, Foxconn said in a statement on Friday that it is working with the Italian-American carmaker to “explore the possibility” of forming a joint venture to produce electric vehicles and develop a platform for cars that can connect to the internet, reads a new report from Bloomberg.
“If the companies move forward, the plan would be to manufacture electric vehicles in China for China’s domestic market with the potential to export to other markets in the future,” Foxconn said in a statement.
Fiat Chrysler will hold 50% of the venture, while Foxconn will own no more than 40%, the Taiwanese company said. A contract is to be signed this quarter.
“Our initial plan is to manufacture in China for the local market first,” with exports possible later, Foxconn said, adding that the venture will also focus on the “internet of vehicles.”
The operation of Foxconn’s EV business will be handled mainly by group subsidiaries FIT Hon Teng, which makes automobile components, and FIH Mobile, Foxconn’s Android smartphone assembly arm. FIH Mobile will provide software solutions for automotive systems in electric cars, Foxconn said.
“As autos get more and more electrified and more and more digital components replace mechanical ones — especially with EVs but also just traditional vehicles — there’s scope for a real opportunity here,” said Matthew Kanterman, an analyst with Bloomberg. “Vertical expertise is key in auto, and so a deal like FCA — if it proves successful — can help unlock doors for Hon Hai as that would be a strong reference account.”
Foxconn has been investing heavily in a variety of future transport ventures for several years, including Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride services giant, and Chinese electric vehicle start-ups Byton and Xpeng.