It isn’t just Apple that wants to make electric vehicles, with the company that manufactures its iPhones also planning to produce EVs.
As part of a deal signed overnight, Foxconn and automaker Geely will form a new 50/50 joint venture which will supply contract manufacturing services for automakers and other companies wanting to produce electric vehicles, making it easier for startup and tech firms to start producing cars.
The new firm will also provide consulting services “relating to whole vehicles, parts, intelligent drive systems, automotive ecosystem platforms to global automotive enterprises and ridesharing companies”.
Although the companies have yet to announce where it will base its consulting and manufacturing operations, China seems to be the logical location.
According to Automotive News, Geely’s factories in China are capable of producing over 2 million vehicles per year, but in 2020 only made around 1.3 million cars. It’s possible the joint venture could utilise some of Geely’s unused production capacity.
Both Geely and Taiwan-based Foxconn have multiple manufacturing sites and research facilities throughout the Middle Kingdom. Additionally China is the world’s largest automotive market, and one that’s pushing strongly for a transition to electric vehicles.
Geely’s various brands, including Geely, Volvo, Lynk & Co, Polestar and Proton, all manufacture vehicles in China for both local sale and export.
It’s unclear if any established domestic or foreign automakers have expressed interest in working with the Geely/Foxconn joint venture.
The new firm seems most likely to attract the attention of automotive startups or tech firms wanting to broaden their horizons as it removes the need to build a new factory.
Late last year, Foxconn confirmed it was developing a flexible EV architecture that supports a wide variety of sizes, body styles, batteries and drivetrain setups.
Cross-industry collaborations could be a hallmark of 2021.
At the beginning of 2021 Foxconn announced it will begin producing the Byton M-Byte crossover EV from the first quarter of 2022 in Nanjing, China.
Earlier this week Geely confirmed it will help Baidu, China’s largest search engine firm, in its quest to build electric vehicles.
Most eye-catching was a report this week suggesting Hyundai will work with Apple on an autonomous electric vehicle, with production slated to begin in 2024. A joint venture agreement could be signed as early as March this year.