On October 1, 2021, Ohio-based Lordstown Motors and Foxconn—the multinational Taiwanese company and the world’s largest electronics manufacturer-- announced their new partnership. Foxconn will buy $50 million of Lordstown Motor’s common stock, and buy the company’s manufacturing complex in Ohio for $230 million to produce Lordstown’s Endurance full-sized all electric pickup truck. Daniel Ninivaggi, Chief Executive Officer of Lordstown Motors, stated in the announcement’s press release, Foxconn is an ideal partnership because it will “provide operational, technology, and supply chain benefits which will accelerate vehicle production and increase employment”. This partnership will be Foxconn’s first electric vehicle manufacturing plant in North America, and a part of its plan to establish electric vehicle production in the region. Production of the Lordstown Endurance is expected to begin as early as April of next year.
In addition to partnering with Lordstown, Foxconn has also partnered with Fisker Inc— a California based electric car maker. The companies plan to open a US plant in 2023. The exact location is unknown, but four states are under consideration including Foxconn’s planned manufacturing campus in Wisconsin. Fisker and Lordstown will join a handful of electronic vehicles (EV) startups that have gone public through reverse merger deals with special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs. These agreements are all at a time when US President Joe Biden has called for $174 billion in new spending to boost EVs. These trends show the opportunity the US electric vehicle market holds for businesses. Other multinational companies from Asia are also taking advantage of this new market. Ford recently partnered with South Korea’s SK Innovation to produce batteries for Ford’s new electric car
In preparation for Foxconn’s investment in EVs, the company announced its plan to buy Macronix International’s semiconductor plant in August of this year. Macroinx International specializes in memory chips that supply Nintendo, Sony, and Apple. The company makes chips suitable for sensors and electronic components used in automobiles. This strategic purchase was based on the past year's semiconductor shortage. The shortage has disrupted supply-chains and delayed the production of key electronic goods including the chips for EVs. Foxconn’s partnership with US companies means both Foxconn and partnering US companies can secure a direct link to semi-conductors. This could increase the potential to produce other clean energy products, including Apple’s own EV and create future jobs.
Shannon Wells is a participant of the Young Professionals Program at the East-West Center in Washington. She is a first-year Master's of International Studies student at North Carolina State University.