Foxconn’s CEO hopes to one day make Tesla’s cars

Foxconn’s chairman and CEO Liu Young-way hopes to one day be in a position to produce electric cars for Tesla as the iPhone assembler expands into transportation. Liu made the comments at the unveiling of two new Foxconn electric car prototypes — the Model B crossover and Model V pickup truck — which the contract manufacturer hopes will serve as reference designs for companies who want to outsource manufacturing of their own EVs.

“Foxconn is not in the business of selling its own EV brand,” Liu said at its annual tech day, in comments reported by the Financial Times. “I hope one day we can do Tesla cars for Tesla,” he added.

The company has ambitious targets for its fledgling EV business. “Based on our past records for the PC and cellphone markets … we’re at about 40-45% of the overall market share,” the CEO said in comments reported by Reuters. “So, ambitions-wise, hopefully we are able to achieve the same kind of achievement like in the ICT (information and communications technology) industry, but we will start small, which is about 5% in 2025.”

The announcement of the two designs come a year after Foxconn showed off three prototype electric vehicles — a Model C SUV, a Model E sedan, and a Model T bus. Taiwanese automaker Yulon plans to sell the Model C next year, when it will be branded as the Luxgen N7, The Associated Press reports. Reuters notes that electric buses produced by the company are already in use in Taiwan.

Liu’s hope is that Foxconn can apply its technology manufacturing expertise to automaking, halving design times and reducing development costs by a third, Reuters notes. The contract manufacturer’s EV business only dates back to 2019, but since then, it’s inked a number of high-profile deals, including joint ventures with Yulon as well as US-based Lordstown Motors. Foxconn purchased Lordstown’s Ohio factory to use as a US manufacturing base. Vehicles will also be produced in Taiwan and Thailand.

Despite Foxconn’s huge size, the reality of some of its past projects hasn’t lived up to what was promised. A massive multibillion-dollar LCD factory planned for Wisconsin never fully materialized, despite billions in promised tax credits, displaced residents, and water being diverted from Lake Michigan.