The Taiwanese company, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, unveiled the Model B crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) and Model V pickup truck at its event in Taipei.
Foxconn founder Terry Gou Tai-ming, 72, introduced the Model B by driving it onto the stage. The pickup truck will be produced in Taiwan, Thailand and the United States, according to Hon Hai chairman and chief executive Liu Young-way.
Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, is hoping to replicate the way it muscled into electronics assembly to become the biggest manufacturing partner for Apple and other global brands. It is aiming to build clients’ EVs from the chassis up, with no plans to sell vehicles under its own brand.
“After we announced our plans to build EVs in 2020, many people questioned whether Foxconn can build cars,” Liu said. “Then when we unveiled three models a year later, everyone thought, ‘wow, how did they manage to develop three models in just a year?’ That’s the speed we’re operating at.”
None of the cars Foxconn has unveiled so far are destined to go on sale to consumers because these are reference designs, intended to show off the company’s capabilities to potential big-brand clients. The Model C prototype introduced previously is now a production vehicle, marketed as the Luxgen n7 by Taiwanese carmaker Yulon Motor.
The Model B, which uses the same platform as the Model C, was designed with Italian car design firm Pininfarina. The crossover SUV has a full-length glass roof and a range of 450 kilometres (280 miles) on one charge.
Foxconn also said it is developing its own solid-state batteries.
The company created Foxtron Vehicle Technologies in 2020 as a venture with Yulon. It then embarked on a flurry of activity, buying Lordstown Motors Corp’s plant in Ohio to create a US base, launching an open EV platform and inking a manufacturing deal with start-up Fisker.
Demand for EVs is soaring as consumers and governments embrace the technology, spurring a worldwide shift for the technology and automotive industries. But Foxconn is trying to get into a field already crowded by aggressive rivals from Tesla to China’s Nio and BYD Co to Xpeng. This market is also attracting new entrants including smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp.
One major point of uncertainty is how the Biden administration’s recently unfurled raft of restrictions on chip exports to China will shake up the global EV industry. Xpeng has warned that the curbs on chips could potentially hammer Chinese EV makers.