Foxconn plans to go beyond TV screens in the United States

Company confirms location of Mount Pleasant training facility

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:12 pm

M7 co-chair Gale Klappa and Foxconn’s Louis Wo

Foxconn’s Louis Woo says if the company were to take its current business model in Asia and bring it to Wisconsin, there would be “basically no reason why we should be in America.”

Woo, special assistant to Foxconn chairman Terry Gou, said the company’s decision to expand in the United States “is to do something completely different than what we are doing so successfully in Asia.”

He pointed out wages in the U.S. are four to six times higher than what the company pays in Asia and the U.S.-made products will have to go beyond televisions to what the company calls the 8K+5G ecosystem.

“We will be looking at a lot of domain experts to build vertical solutions on top of this hardware platform,” he said, suggesting there are opportunities in medicine, advanced manufacturing, education, retail and autonomous driving.

“There are so many areas, so many domains, we will need help, we will need all of you and many more in the state of Wisconsin and even beyond,” Woo said at the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce all-member meeting.

Foxconn’s efforts to do things differently are already getting underway with the establishment of a training and experimental production facility in Mount Pleasant. Woo discussed the company’s desire to invite partners into the facility during an interview on Monday. He said the company would be hiring research and development staff to figure out the best production methods.

The company said in an emailed statement it has signed a lease for the initial facility at 13315 Globe Drive, a nearly 156,000-square-foot building developed by The Opus Group.

Woo said Monday the company would use the latest in Internet of Things and advanced manufacturing to determine how to set up its production. Winnie Tu, Foxconn director of business administration, said the company was still putting together a plan to determine how much staff it would need at the training operation.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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