Automobile

Apple’s iPhone partner Foxconn unveils first EV concepts

Yulon will be Foxconn’s first EV customer, Lilian Chen, Yulon’s chairwoman, said at the Taipei event. The electric sedan built by Foxconn for the company is set to retail for less than NT$1 million ($35,700), Liu said.

Foxconn also displayed its electric bus, which will be delivered to a local transportation provider next year.

Foxconn is among the technology companies targeting EVs as a source of growth beyond low-margin electronics assembly. The Ohio deal is a boon for Foxconn, giving it assembly capacity, equipment and talent, Citigroup analyst Carrie Liu wrote in a recent note. The company is close to deciding the location for a car plant in Europe, Liu said.

The Apple car would be the ultimate prize for every aspiring EV manufacturer. Working in Foxconn’s favor is its strong relationship with the U.S. consumer-electronics giant. The yearslong partnership has expanded as Apple has added product categories, and the company now accounts for about 50 percent of Foxconn’s annual sales.

Any Apple automobile is still years away and the company has suffered setbacks including the recent departure of the head of its car project to Ford. An Apple car has for years been somewhat of a paradox — it’s one of its most hotly anticipated products yet the company has publicly said almost nothing about it.

Industry watchers are closely watching for clues of which companies might build the EV. While sources have previously said that the tech giant wants to launch a car by 2024, Apple has not disclosed specific plans.

Foxconn has yet to start sales of any vehicle following the debut of its EV platform last year. It plans to start mass production of Lordstown’s Endurance electric pickup in Ohio in April, according to a person familiar with its schedule.

In comparison, automakers such as Tesla, Volkswagen Group and Hyundai are already turning out EV models and spending billions of dollars on product development and capacity.

Still, Foxconn has made some progress. It has a manufacturing deal with Fisker and a partnership with Thailand’s state-owned conglomerate PTT. It’s also struck pacts with Stellantis and Zhejiang Geely Holding.

Reuters contributed to this report

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