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Foxconn pumps $200mn into Vietnam for EV chargers, components

Foxconn's Model E, developed in collaboration with Mahindra-owned Italian design company Pininfarina. Foxconn says the vehicle can go from 0 to 100 km in 2.8 seconds. Image: Hon Hai Precision

Foxconn, the company that assembles Apple's iPhone, is investing $200 million in Vietnam to develop components used in electric vehicles (EVs), confirming news of its plans to venture into the broader EV industry.

The company recently set up a 50:50 joint venture with Stellantis, named SiliconAuto to design and supply semiconductors to the global automotive industry, and last year bagged a contract in its home nation to set up an EV ecosystem and battery manufacturing chain.

In a statement, Foxconn said the new Vietnam plant, located in the northern part of the country, would focus on "the production of electric vehicle components, controllers and other products to meet future development needs." Local government authorities said the plant would mainly produce EV chargers and related components. It is expected to start production from January 2025.

Simultaneously, Foxconn announced it would spend $46 million more to set up a plant manufacturing electronics and telecommunication components, which could begin production in October next year.

Foxconn's selection of Vietnam highlights industry's wider shift to setting up factories outside China. Last month, the Taiwanese company announced a factory in Vietnam's central region at an initial investment of $100 million.  

Foxconn, formerly known as Hon Hai Precision, has been betting big on the EV sector. The company has tied up with multiple companies to create different EV models, including e-busses, e-sedans and e-pick up trucks. Last year, the company launched its flagship luxury sedan, the Model E, which was jointly developed along with Pininfarina, the Italian design firm now owned by Indian conglomerate Mahinda. 

Foxconn, which markets EVs under the Foxtron brand, says the Model E is a "technologically innovative luxury flagship sedan" that can meet the needs of middle and high-end consumers, while remaining a first choice for businesses, as the rear seat space "can transform into a dedicated mobile office, with personal mobile devices seamlessly connected to the passenger car, enabling a series of smart applications such as face recognition for door opening, smart windows and vehicle and environment interfaces." 

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