Foxconn’s venture attempting to build a standardized electric vehicle platform is targeting India or Thailand for the production of a small battery-powered car under development, the unit’s chief executive said. The Taiwanese company’s EV platform unit Mobility in Harmony (MIH) would be willing to work with its parent or another company to build the new three-seat EV priced below $20,000 and tailor-made for a corporate delivery fleet, MIH CEO Jack Cheng told Reuters in an interview.
Foxconn has long been associated with assembling iPhones and other consumer electronics for major brands, but it now seeks to diversify its portfolio by entering the rapidly growing electric vehicle industry. With an eye on sustainability and innovation, the company has been making significant investments in EV technology and production capabilities.
The decision to target India and Thailand is well-founded, given their increasing interest in EVs. India, in particular, is experiencing a surge in EV adoption driven by government initiatives, tax incentives, and growing environmental consciousness among consumers. With its large population and expanding middle class, India presents a promising market for small electric cars that can address urban commuting needs and offer economical ownership costs.
“You build where the potential market is…In India or Southeast Asia, you have a huge volume opportunity right now”, Cheng said, calling India a potential “emerging power for the next generation” in the EV sector.
For its part, Foxconn has so far failed to land the kind of deal that would show the EV market can be opened to the type of contract manufacturing that Foxconn came to dominate in consumer electronics for Apple’s iPhone. Foxconn established the MIH consortium of some 2,600 suppliers two years ago with the aim of creating an open platform that could become the equivalent of Google’s Android operating system for EVs.
Cheng conceded MIH had “not seen success yet” but said returns for participating suppliers would come with orders for a range of new EVs called Project X. The idea is to use low-cost, shared platforms to allow corporate fleet operators to order custom-made EVs. So far, that model is largely untested, and analysts have said the best opportunity for a new EV entrant like Foxconn could close in the next few years as established automakers and startups ramp up their own production.