Apple manufacturer Foxconn is setting up an automotive arm, just as Cupertino is reportedly gearing up to build an Apple Car. This could make Foxconn a prime manufacturing partner, much in the same way that the Taiwanese company currently assembles iPhones and other devices for Apple.
According to a Wednesday Bloomberg report, Foxconn is “strengthening its automotive capabilities,” teaming up with Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely to provide production and consulting services to automotive companies around the world. Foxconn has confirmed that it is offering these services.
“Amid reports of Apple considering making its own electric vehicles, Foxconn has been bulking up its automotive muscles swiftly. Such moves may help the company become a major contender to make cars for its largest customer.”
The report suggests that Apple is “at least half a decade” from launching an Apple Car. Some recent reports have pegged 2024 as the possible manufacturing date. If Bloomberg is correct, things might be a little bit more delayed than that. However, as the report notes, “Setting up a car plant can cost billions of dollars and take years.”
According to the report, Foxconn is expanding a plant to manufacture metal parts for the automotive industry. It also recently signed a deal with the Chinese EV startup Byton. Foxconn aims to begin manufacturing the Byton M-Byte by the first quarter of 2022. By the time Apple (and its rumored partner Hyundai) are ready to get moving with automotive production, Foxconn should be in a strong position to accommodate whatever orders are thrown its way.
The Apple Car has been rumored since 2014. Recently, Apple AI boss John Giannandrea took control of the project. Current rumors suggest Apple will provide support and software for the rumored self-driving electric vehicle. An established automaker, meanwhile, will provide the hardware.