Foxconn Technology Group plans to acquire a former GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio for its initial production of electric vehicles instead of using its existing facility or land in Mount Pleasant. In a statement, the company said the Ohio location’s existing facilities, infrastructure, employees, and robust supply chain would “give Foxconn speed to market that meets our customer’s needs for production by end of 2023.” “While initial electric vehicle production takes place in Lordstown, Foxconn’s assets in Wisconsin will continue to serve as a potential location for additional investment for Foxconn’s electric vehicle growth in the United States and continue to be the location for data infrastructure hardware and information and communication technology production,” the statement said. Foxconn has an agreement in place to make cars for electric vehicle startup Fisker Inc. The company had considered its Wisconsin campus as a potential site to produce the vehicles. When originally announced in 2017, the campus was to be a $10 billion project to make large television screens. However, the company has repeatedly changed its plans, first to making smaller display screens and then to making servers and other computer products. To date, the company has built four buildings on the campus totaling around 1.4 million square feet. The original plan called for 20 million square feet of facilities. Foxconn’s hiring plans have also fallen well short of their original targets and the company renegotiated its tax incentive deal with the state of Wisconsin. The Ohio plant Foxconn is purchasing is currently owned by Lordstown Motors Corp. Foxconn also agreed to purchase $50 million worth of Lordstown stock. The agreement between the two companies is non-binding and calls for Foxconn and Lordstown to negotiate a definitive agreement for Foxconn to buy most of the facility for $230 million. The companies would also negotiate a contract manufacturing agreement for Foxconn to make Lordstown Motors’ Endurance full-size pickup truck at the facility and Foxconn would have certain rights on future vehicle programs. “We have high expectations through this partnership that we will be able to successfully integrate our resources with Lordstown Motors. In addition to achieving the goal of moving ahead our timeline to establish electric vehicle production capacity in North America, it also reflects Foxconn’s flexibility in providing design and production services for different EV customers,” Young Liu, chairman of Foxconn, said in a press release announcing the deal. The Foxconn release also said the Lordstown facility would “serve as a speed to market asset” that would support Fisker. “The partnership would allow Lordstown Motors to take advantage of Foxconn’s extensive manufacturing expertise and cost-efficient supply chain, while freeing up Lordstown Motors to focus on bringing the Endurance to market, developing service offerings for our fleet customers and designing and developing innovative new vehicle models,” Daniel Ninivaggi, chief executive officer of Lordstown Motors Corp., said in the release.
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