Apple iPhone contract manufacturer Foxconn is considering an electric-car factory in Wisconsin, The Guardian reported Tuesday.
Speaking in Taipei, Foxconn chairman Young Liu said the company could start building electric cars at an abandoned Wisconsin factory site in 2023, but indicated the company hasn't firmly committed to EV production.
The Wisconsin factory was announced in 2017, and was originally slated to make LCD screens. It drew controversy after hundreds of residents were forced to move to make room for the factory, easily identifiable by a large glass dome, and millions of dollars in tax breaks were awarded, The Guardian noted.
Foxconn promised 13,000 jobs by 2023, but in February, a development company shouldering some of the costs up front sued, while the slow pace of development has led the state of Wisconsin to ask for a renegotiation of Foxconn's contract, Wisconsin Public Radio reported last month.
Fisker and Foxconn partnership
Yet just last week, a top United States-based Foxconn executive bought a second home nearby, according to MPR News.
While Foxconn's plans for the Wisconsin factory site remain vague, it's clear the company wants to get into the EV business. In 2020 it launched its own EV platform, and made plans for solid-state batteries. That could be an attractive option for future EV startups looking to minimize development costs.
Last month, Foxconn and Fisker announced a partnership that could see Foxconn manufacture cars for the EV startup within the same 2023 timeframe Liu mentioned.
Foxconn has also helped Byton, which had a U.S.-sized electric crossover ready to go, before the coronavirus pandemic caused funding to evaporate. Byton established a U.S. corporate presence in 2019, and announced a charging partnership with Electrify America in anticipation of U.S. sales.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) also had discussed an EV venture with Foxconn, but those plans are likely no longer on the table with the company's merger into Stellantis.