Foxconn and Fisker are in talks to build a $30,000 electric car in Wisconsin, local newspaper The Journal Times confirmed Thursday.
Known as a contract manufacturer for the Apple iPhone, Foxconn announced plans for a Wisconsin factory in 2017, originally for large LCD screens.
Reports about the Wisconsin factory as a possibility for EV production first surfaced in March, when it was mentioned by Foxconn's chairman. The Journal Times contacted Foxconn for an update July 2, and received a reply Thursday confirming talks with Fisker. The automotive startup then released a similar public statement Friday.
"As part of the site selection process, Foxconn and Fisker have engaged with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to discuss plans for electric vehicle manufacturing," Fisker said, in a statement it sent to Green Car Reports Friday. "Foxconn and Fisker look forward to the discussions with the WEDC."
Teaser sketch for Fisker electric vehicle being developed with Foxconn
Fisker and Foxconn announced "framework agreements" in May, including plans to build a new electric car in the United States, with a base price of $30,000 before incentives. Dubbed Project PEAR for Personal Electric Automotive Revolution, the yet-unnamed EV would ramp up production in the fourth quarter of 2023, the two companies said at the time.
Foxconn has so far failed to deliver on its promises for job creation in Wisconsin. After the original plan to produce LCD screens fell through, the factory was scaled back to produce smaller screens for televisions, smartphones and tablets, the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal noted. That never came to fruition, nor did subsequent deals to manufacture robotic coffee kiosks and ventilators, the paper said.
Auto manufacturing certainly isn't a new economic idea for the region; the Kenosha manufacturing complex, which once cranked out millions of Nash, AMC, Renault, Plymouth, and Dodge models, was shuttered in 2010.
Foxconn MIH modular EV platform
Foxconn's original 2017 deal included up to $2.85 billion in tax credits, and at the time it said that it would create up to 13,000 jobs, the paper said. Repurposing the factory for car production likely depends on upcoming talks withe WEDC and a new deal favorable to Fisker and Foxconn.
Fisker is looking to multiple manufacturing partnerships. Its larger Ocean EVis due to be made by Magna, and is scheduled to launch before the Project PEAR EV, in 2022. Foxconn meanwhile revealed an open platform for EVs last year, along with plans to embrace solid-state tech sooner than most other automakers. Fisker might not be its only customer.