BEIJING (Reuters) – Apple assembler Foxconn and Nanjing Economic and Technological Development Zone have agreed to start building electric sports utility vehicles in 2022 for cash-strapped Chinese start-up Byton, said Foxconn said in a statement Monday.
Young Liu, chairman of Foxconn, said in the statement that the partnership with Byton will be a key part of Foxconn’s strategy in the electric vehicle (EV) business.
Foxconn’s deal with Byton, its most concrete foray into the auto business, amplifies the threat to established automakers that tech companies like iPhone maker Apple and other non-traditional players could use sub-assemblers. contract as a shortcut to compete in the vehicle market.
By reducing manufacturing and the associated capital costs as a barrier to entry, contract assemblers could allow tech companies to focus on the software and digital connectivity features that will define automotive competition for years to come. .
On Monday, Canadian auto supplier and contract assembler Magna International Inc expanded its alliance with U.S. electric vehicle startup Fisker Inc.
Reuters reported last month that Apple is pushing to design an electric vehicle and batteries, for a possible launch in 2024. Apple declined to comment.
Last year, the company announced plans to form a joint venture with Fiat Chrysler to build electric cars and develop internet-connected vehicles in China. He hasn’t made a major announcement on the partnership since then.
Foxconn said in October that it aims to provide components or services to 10% of the world’s electric vehicles between 2025 and 2027.
Byton, which is backed by state-owned automaker FAW Group and battery supplier Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd, was building an auto plant in the eastern city of Nanjing before halting production from July to reorganize the company. business.
Byton was launched in September 2017 by Future Mobility Corp, a company co-founded by former executives from BMW and Nissan Motor, and also has software and design facilities in the United States and Germany.
Bloomberg announced earlier Monday that Foxconn’s publicly traded company Hon Hai Precision Industry Co was planning to invest $ 200 million in Byton, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter. Byton declined to comment on the investment.
(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by David Evans and Steve Orlofsky)