Famous as a major iPhone assembler and would-be electric carmaker, Foxconn chairman Young Liu said on Sunday that electric pickup trucks will begin rolling out of the Lordstown, Ohio plant in the second half of this year.

In an interview with Nikkei Asia about the company’s prospects for the coming year, Foxconn chairman Young Liu Foxconn explained that he expects an exceptionally strong first quarter, as workers at Foxconn’s key manufacturing complexes in Taiwan are working overtime during the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday. More interesting to us “car people”, however, was a quote buried about two thirds into the article.

Our self-developed electric bus will hit the road in Kaohsiung (southern Taiwan), electric pick-ups made in cooperation with Lordstown will begin shipping in the second half of this year.

Foxconn chairman, Young Liu.

Nine lives for Lordstown plant

Lordstown Motors agreed to sell its Ohio factory to Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn late last year, in the hopes that they would be able to get production of the hub-wheel pickup rolling. This came after both CEO Steve Burns and CFO Julio Rodriguez resigned amid scandalous claims of exaggerated orders, and the very public failure of a Lordstown Endurance prototype at the Baja San Felipe 250 off-road race, which saw the truck complete just 40 of the planned 250 miles.

Lordstown Motors San Felipe
Lordstown Endurance race truck, via Lorsdstown Motors.

Depending on who you ask/believe, the Lordstown concept was an evolution of the Workhorse electric vehicle project that originally acquired the Ohio factory from GM in a highly politicized sale that, many believe, helped then-president Donald Trump solidify support in the crucial swing state. Workhorse sold off the majority of its shares in Lordstown soon after.

Next moves

Liu explained to Nikkei that Foxconn believes next two big trends in tech will be electric vehicles – a notion seemingly echoed by Sony and Apple – and metaverse. We know that Foxconn is making significant progress in the former field, and is taking steps to ensure that it plays an important role in developing software and hardware for the latter.

Liu also stressed that Foxconn will continue investing in boosting its semiconductor production capabilities, which the company sees as a crucial strategy for increasing its value in the supply chain.

To that end, Foxconn bought a chip plant in Hsinchu – the most important semiconductor hub in Taiwan – and entered into a JV with Chinese auto giant Geely to develop, “intelligent vehicle equipment, control systems, power electronic components, and integrated circuit chips.”

Nikkei reports that Foxconn has also teamed up with Stellantis, the world’s No. 4 carmaker, to design chips for its upcoming connected electric cars, set to hit the roads as soon as MY 2025.

Electrek’s Take

Like Geely, Foxconn seems to be making all the right moves, looking forward at an evolving industry and looking to leverage its strengths as an assembler and contractor to, potentially, begin assembling cars for its tech clients, which include Google, Amazon, and Apple.

As for Lordstown, there have been so many promises going into and coming out of that factory over the years that we have to take anything they say with a pinch pound of salt. The only reason this bit of news feels different? It’s Foxconn who said it.

I expect Foxconn to deliver.

Source: Foxconn, via Nikkei Asia.

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