Apple’s iPhone manufacturer Foxconn has announced that it is increasing its investment in a US electric pickup truck company that could compete with Tesla’s Cybertruck. The massive technology company will invest up to $170 million in shares of the struggling startup Lordstown Motors.
The company plans to increase production of its first model, the Endurance, as a result of the significant infusion of cash. At a former General Motors facility in the US state of Ohio, Lordstown recently started producing the vehicle.
The largest electronics contract manufacturer in the world acquired more than 18% of Lordstown as part of the agreement, making it the largest shareholder in the business.
“Since announcing our first transaction with Foxconn more than a year ago, it has been our objective to develop a broad strategic partnership that leverages the capabilities of both companies,” Lordstown’s executive chairman Daniel Ninivaggi said.
“Foxconn’s latest investment is another step in that direction,” he added.
The two businesses also stated that they would work together to develop an electric vehicle, but they did not provide any additional information.
The collaboration came about as a result of earlier this month’s Reuters news agency report that the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer, Tesla, owned by multi-billionaire Elon Musk, planned to begin mass production of its Cybertruck at the end of 2023.
That would be two years after Musk’s much-anticipated pick-up truck’s initial release date in 2019.
The latest financial infusion into Lordstown as it continues to operate at a loss is from Taiwan-based Foxconn.
Separately, on Monday, the company reported a net loss of $154.4 million for the three months that ended in September, a larger loss than the $95.8 million loss the company reported for the same period in 2017.
Following the announcements, shares of Lordstown increased by almost 18% in extended trading in New York.
The Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund and Foxconn reached an agreement last week to produce electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia.
The joint venture will do business as Ceer, which is pronounced similarly to the Arabic word for “drive.”
BMW of Germany will provide technology under license to Ceer, which plans to begin selling electric cars in 2025.
The agreement is a part of Saudi Arabia’s effort to wean its economy off of fossil fuels.
Foxconn’s chairman Liu Young-way expressed hope last month that the company will eventually produce cars for Tesla as it expands its production of electric vehicles.
Speaking at the company’s annual Tech Day, he stated that as the company expands into producing electric vehicles for well-known automakers, it hopes to replicate its success in producing consumer electronics.
(Adapted from BBC.com)