A Foxconn Tesla? Taiwanese tech giant targets 5% electric vehicle manufacturing by 2025


TAIPEI, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn (2317.TW), best known for assembling Apple’s iPhone (AAPL.O), said on Tuesday it hoped to one day make cars for Tesla as it ramps up electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing in a strategy to diversify its business.

Speaking at the company’s annual Tech Day, Chairman Liu Young-way said Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics maker, wanted to replicate its level of success in assembling consumer gadgets while that it develops in the construction of electric vehicles for car brands.

“Based on our past records for the PC and mobile phone markets…we’re at around 40-45% of the overall market share. So in terms of ambitions, hopefully we can achieve the same type of achievement than in the ICT (information and communication technology) industry, but we will start small, around 5% in 2025,” Liu said.

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“I hope one day we can make Tesla cars for Tesla.”

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, manufactures all of its electric vehicles in-house and has rapidly increased capacity.

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Liu said Foxconn does not sell its own brands of electric vehicles, but wants its customers to sell “a lot” of electric vehicles, which will be made in Taiwan, Thailand and the United States. Foxconn is negotiating with partners in Indonesia and India, Liu added.

The company has expanded into electric vehicles and semiconductors in recent years, announcing deals with US startup Fisker Inc (FSR.N) and Indian conglomerate Vedanta Ltd (VDAN.NS).

Foxconn is leveraging its “48-year roots in ICT manufacturing” to cut electric vehicle design times in half and cut development costs by a third, Liu said.

Luxgen n7, an electric vehicle built by Foxtron, a joint venture between Foxconn and Taiwanese automaker Yulon Motor Co Ltd (2201.TW), received 15,000 pre-orders in less than two days, Liu added.

“Despite the challenges of conflict in Europe and COVID globally, Foxconn has maintained our EV strategy,” Liu said.

“Supply chain resilience has always been in Foxconn’s DNA. Our global presence in 24 countries gives us a huge advantage in meeting the demands of the electric vehicle industry.”

The annual tech showcase takes place on the birthday of the company’s billionaire founder, Terry Gou. Featured as a special guest, Gou drove one of two prototypes unveiled this year, the Model B sporty crossover hatch, onto the stage.

The other prototype unveiled was the Model V, an off-road pickup. Three prototypes – an SUV, a sedan and a bus – were unveiled last year, and Foxtron’s electric buses are already in service in some Taiwanese cities.

“Our sincere hope is that Taiwan can seize this rare commercial opportunity for electric vehicles once every hundred years,” Liu said.

Shares of Foxconn closed down 1.4% on Tuesday, underperforming the benchmark (.TWII), which gained 1.2%. Its shares have fallen 0.5% this year, giving it a market value of $45.5 billion.

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Reporting by Sarah Wu; Written by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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