Foxconn founder swears Wisconsin plant will pop up this year

By

Terry Gou
Foxconn founder Terry Gou (right) says he's making the U.S. a bigger focus in 2020.
Photo: Voice of America/Wikimedia Commons

Apple’s top supplier is promising to start production at its Wisconsin plant sometime in 2020, even though the company already fell short of previous goals.

Foxconn founder Terry Gou made some vague promises about the plant to employees at a party in Taipei earlier this month. Gou, who secured $4 billion in tax incentives for the plant, said he plans to spend a lot of time in the United States this year and wants key employees to come with him.

The Wisconsin Foxconn plant has been mired in controversy pretty much since it was announced in 2017. Foxconn promised to spend $10 billion on the plant and bring 13,000 jobs to the state. The company continually scaled back its plans ever since, though.

Foxconn’s slow move to the U.S.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Foxconn’s Gou addressed concerns about the Wisconsin plant during a company New Year party. While the plant was expected to play a crucial role in Foxconn’s expansion into the United States, only 156 people were hired for the plant in 2018. The company may have missed its hiring target of 520 for 2019 as well.

“I hope many Hon Hai colleagues will go work in the U.S. to help America boost manufacturing and build a supply chain,” Gou allegedly told employees.

Concerns were raised by the people of Wisconsin in 2018 that Foxconn planned to staff the plant with Chinese engineers. At the time, Foxconn claimed that wasn’t the case. Gou’s recent comments make it sound like that idea is still on the table, though.

Wisconsin Gov. Terry Evers told reporters last April that he wanted to get out of the Foxconn deal. The two sides appear to have made a compromise on downsizing the factory plans. Evers said in July 2019 that the plant would open by May 2020 with 1,500 employees, a far cry from the 13,000 jobs originally promised.

Considering Foxconn’s horrible track record for the plant so far, we won’t be shocked if the plant never opens in the first place.