Foxconn hosted an online investor conference today, where Chairman Young Liu commented on the deployment progress of EVs. Liu mentioned how the company has completed three major agreements with Lordstown, with electric pick-ups being produced starting from the third quarter, and also talked about Apple Car for the first time. Despite no details on specific clients, Liu commented that Foxconn will make sure to fulfill the desired processes of auto manufacturers, as long as the clients bring it up.
Liu commented, for the first time, on the rumor that the Apple Car is being manufactured by Foxconn. The standard answer was that he is unable to comment on individual clients, but he did attempt to answer the question, which is that Foxconn has been in contact with various major auto manufacturers and startups, though the company has to fully understand the process requirements for product designs due to extremely complex automobile processes.
Liu pointed out that he cannot confirm if Foxconn is capable of mass production since product designs have yet to be determined, but the company will do its best in providing the technology required by auto manufacturers for mass production. Foxconn aims to fulfill all new processes required by clients.
Regarding Foxconn’s EV deployment, Liu commented that the company had signed for three agreements with Lordstown Motors this morning, including asset purchases, outsourced manufacturing, and agreement on joint venture development. As the first client of Foxconn in mass-produced vehicles, Lordstown is expected to begin production on the electric pick-up in Ohio starting from the third quarter this year, and will also provide components at the same time. The two parties will co-develop new future models based on the MIH platform.
Regarding other EV collaborations, Liu pointed out that Taiwan plants are expected to ship more than 100 units of electric buses this year, while the PTT will finalize on the location of the EV plant in May this year, before initiating groundbreaking in July, and aims to complete plant construction before the end of 2023 and production in 2024. Fisker will enter SOP in 2024, and will mainly manufacture EVs at its Ohio plant in the future.
Liu shared that another important progress for the automotive application field is the key component LiDAR of self-driving. HHTD22 will establish a comprehensive solution based on ADAS and software applications, and the particular LiDAR will not only possess specification advantages, but also competitiveness in cost structure. The solution will be further demonstrated on the day of the event.
In terms of semiconductor deployment, Liu said that semiconductor is an essential segment in extending the vertical integration strategies of the EV industry, and that Foxconn hopes to construct a comprehensive SiC ecosystem that incorporates from upstream design, wafer production, and power modules, to downstream applications, through cooperation and in-house capacity by investing upstream SiC design companies in accordance with high-temperature, high voltage, and high current chips that are key to EVs.
Liu, when looking ahead to the operation of the second quarter this year, commented that the pandemic has yielded various extents of impact on the production and logistics of the entire supply chain, though Foxconn managed to lower the corresponding impact to the lowest level by utilizing nearly 50 years of experience in management and enormous supply chain advantages. Liu expects to see a slightly leveled performance in the second quarter regardless of a QoQ or MoM comparison.
For an overview on the demand for Foxconn’s four major products, Liu pointed out that the replacement of consumer smart products has slightly deteriorated, while cloud and network products, especially with servers, are seeing a robust demand thanks to the robust growth of major CSP clients. According to Liu, cloud and network products are expected to see a strong growth regardless of a QoQ or YoY comparison, and will possess the strongest dynamics this year.
In the face of uncertain factors such as global geopolitics, pandemic, and inflation, Liu believes that current supply and demand has indeed met considerable challenges, though an outlook on the annual prospect according to the current market status denotes that the four major products are seeing a better visibility compared to that of March, even though the overall level remains largely constant. As for profit margin, Liu is expected to see an improvement in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period last year, while the overall performance of 2022 will also surpass that of 2021.
In addition, Liu also commented on Foxconn’s pandemic-prevention measures. He said that confirmed cases are now marching towards mild development, and most countries are now coexisting with the virus. Despite sporadic cases at Foxconn, they have not induced major ramifications to plant operations, since the company had adopted division of labor and floor gridding, as well as prohibited cross-plant movement, a while back, and also encourages staffs to receive vaccinations. Foxconn has also been offering free test kits over the past 6 months.
(Cover photo source: Foxconn)