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Foxconn, possible LMC plant buyer, announces electric car venture

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Taiwanese company that manufactures smartphones for Apple Inc. and other global brands announced plans Monday to produce electric cars for auto brands under a similar contract model.

Foxconn Technology Group will produce cars and buses for brands in China, North America, Europe and other markets, said its chairman, Young Liu. He said the clients can modify their appearance and features for their markets.

The company is negotiating an agreement with Lordstown Motors Corp. that would have Lordstown Motors sell its 6.2 million-square-foot manufacturing plant — the former General Motors assembly plant — to Foxconn for $230 million.

Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.,would become the contract manufacturer of the Endurance, Lordstown Motors’ first vehicle offering. The sides have an agreement in principle in place that also calls for Foxconn, in part, to invest $50 million into Lordstown Motors.

The deal also could mean the production of a second electric vehicle at the plant, California-based Fisker’s PEAR (Personal Electric Automotive Revolution).

Fisker and Foxconn finalized an agreement in May to assemble the vehicle. Fisker’s CEO, Henrik Fisker, told this newspaper if Foxconn and Lordstown Motors finalize the deal, it’s his intent to make the PEAR with Foxconn in Lordstown.

Foxconn enters a crowded global market with electrics being offered by almost every established automaker and dozens of ambitious startups.

The flagship Model E sedan, developed with Italian design house Pininfarina, is due to be launched in 2023, the company said. It said the Model E will seat five and have a range of 470 miles on one charge.

Liu mentioned automakers Fisker Inc. and Taiwan’s Yulong Group as clients.

The newspaper Taiwan News said last week other potential customers include Stellantis, the automaker formed by the merger of FIAT Chrysler and Peugeot, but Liu did not confirm that.

Foxconn said its first electric bus, the Model T, will have a range of less than 250 miles on one charge.

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