PTT, Foxconn to make electric vehicles in Thailand

PTT, Foxconn to make electric vehicles in Thailand

FILE PHOTO: Foxconn's computer motherboards are seen during the annual Computex computer exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan June 1, 2016. (Reuters)
FILE PHOTO: Foxconn's computer motherboards are seen during the annual Computex computer exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan June 1, 2016. (Reuters)

TAIPEI: Taiwan's Foxconn on Monday announced a partnership with state-run energy group PTT Plc to make electric cars in Thailand, adding to a string of such deals by the iPhone assembler as it makes forays into the car market.

Foxconn, Apple's main iPhone maker, has expanded its activities in electric vehicles (EVs) over the past year or so, announcing deals with Chinese electric-car maker Byton and automakers Zhejiang Geely Holding Group as well as Italian automobile company Stellantis.

Foxconn and PTT have signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in making EVs and their components for the Thai market, the two companies said in a statement, which also said that the virtual signing ceremony was presided over by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Under the partnership, an "open platform" that provides both hardware and software services will be available to automakers in the country, the statement said, without giving details such as size of the investment and production plans.

Foxconn's EV foray could become a threat to established automakers, in which non-traditional players could use contract assemblers such as Foxconn as a shortcut to competing in the vehicle market.

The platform in Thailand will build on the Foxconn-led industry alliance, MIH, a network that the company said would offer manufacturers a cost-effective solution to make EVs.

"This cooperation with PTT and the Thai government to realise the vision of sustainable development of the EV industry, demonstrates that the MIH ecosystem is growing," Foxconn chairman Liu Young-way said.

Taiwan-based Foxconn aims to provide components or services to 10% of the world's EVs by 2025 to 2027, Liu said in October, vowing to lower manufacturing and other costs for carmaking with its assembling know-how as the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer.

In its largest vehicle-assembly deal to date, Foxconn this month said it will make at least 150,000 vehicles a year starting in 2023 in a partnership with US electric car maker Fisker Inc. 

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