Foxconn, Saudi Arabia in talks to develop BMW-based EVs: Report
Foxconn is aggressively focusing on its electrification plans and its expansion as now it is being reported that the company is in talks with Saudi Arabia in order to develop a joint venture that will make electric vehicles. Based on a report by Automotive News, Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund will create a new entity called Velocity which is going to hold major stakes in the venture.
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It is being said that Foxconn will give the software, electronics and electrical architecture for new electric vehicles. It is also being reported that the company in the joint venture will remain as a minor stakeholder. The report does mention that this collaboration may use the platform for EVs licensed by BMW. This move is being sought after as automakers are willing to license their platforms out to offset some costs along with the massive investment they are making in the creation of new platforms for electrification. Earlier, BMW, reportedly, licensed its X5 platform to Vietnam’s VinFast.
For the longest time, Saudi Arabia has been looking for opportunities to diversify its economy from oil. Establishing domestic car manufacturing units have been in its plan, however, it has not come to fruition till now. The country's Public Investment Fund became a major stakeholder in Lucid Motors in 2018 to encourage the automaker to set up a manufacturing plant near Jeddah.
An earlier report by Bloomberg had also informed that it hired Boston Consulting Group to explore methods to create a domestic EV industry in the country. It is also aiming to develop a battery manufacturing factory that will have a target of 15 gigawatt-hours of production per year by 2028. It is being suggested that this plant will provide batteries to Lucid and other automakers that establish themselves in the country.
Foxconn, the world's largest assembler of iPhones, has already begun its journey towards electrification as it unveiled three concept electric vehicles in October. It also has plans to make EVs for India.