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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple supplier Foxconn has agreed to buy a former General Motors factory in Ohio, a move that potentially puts it in a better position to assemble cars for Apple, should the tech giant choose to formally enter the automotive sector in the future (via Bloomberg).

bloomberg-lordstown.jpg
Image credit: Dustin Franz/Bloomberg

The purchase is part of a $280 million deal Foxconn has agreed with embattled automaker Lordstown Motors, which will sell the factory to the Taiwanese company for $230 million after buying it from GM for just $20 million two years ago.

Under the terms of the deal, Foxconn will also buy $50 million worth of common stock in Lordstown Motors and will assemble the automaker's Endurance electric pickup truck. Foxconn plans to start mass producing the vehicle in April, according to Bloomberg's sources.

Foxconn said in August that it plans to begin construction of all-electric vehicle plants in the United States and Thailand this year, with the aim of being operational by 2023.

The Lordstown deal is one of Foxconn's biggest vehicle-related investments it has made over the past two years. Foxconn has yet to commercially release any vehicle following the debut of its EV platform last year, but its purchase of the Ohio plant means it won't have to build capacity from scratch, which could help the iPhone manufacturer in any attempt to court Apple's business if it enters the market, although that isn't expected for at least several years.

Apple is widely reported to be working on its own vehicle and is thought to be exploring the potential for third-party companies to help it launch the Apple Car. One report vaguely referenced Foxconn as a potential candidate for the ‌Apple Car‌'s production, but Apple is also looking at other possible suppliers.

Apple reportedly wants to ensure that the battery used in the ‌Apple Car‌ is produced in the United States, and that sentiment could extend to other auto parts, which could work in Foxconn's favor if it's able to demonstrate proof to Apple of vehicle manufacturing expertise.

Article Link: Apple Supplier Foxconn Agrees to Buy Ohio Car Factory for $230 Million
 

IIGS User

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2019
649
1,719
Didn't Foxconn grift Michigan out of a pile of cash promising to make flat screen TV's and leave town in the dark of night like a monorail salesman from "The Simpsons"?

Side note. The days of cheap manufacturing in China are coming to a close. Energy supply issues. You know when it hits CNN and CNBC it was happening in China 6 months ago, so maybe the US will be a more viable place to complete assembly, IDK.
 

bayportbob

macrumors member
Oct 27, 2003
51
26
somewhere under the rainbow.
Didn't Foxconn grift Michigan out of a pile of cash promising to make flat screen TV's and leave town in the dark of night like a monorail salesman from "The Simpsons"?

Side note. The days of cheap manufacturing in China are coming to a close. Energy supply issues. You know when it hits CNN and CNBC it was happening in China 6 months ago, so maybe the US will be a more viable place to complete assembly, IDK.
Foxconn grifted Wisconsin also, Foxconn bought and cleared land to make flat screens in a huge facility not yet built, bought property in downtown Milwaukee for a headquarter building, and has not produced a thing. they did not get cash but Wisconsin and the counties involved built up infrastructure and provided tax breaks for Foxconn. I do appreciate the extra lanes on the interstate they added even there is no reason for them to exist at this time.
 

ChrisS1081

macrumors newbie
Apr 10, 2015
14
2
Wow this place is close by me. I wonder if this or good news? I know they have been struggling to get up and running. I knew alot of people who worked at the GM plant that was there before. They are building a huge battery factory almost next door to this.
 

hagjohn

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2006
1,258
2,656
Pennsylvania
Apple is putting all their eggs in a Foxconn basket. That isn't very smart. Lets hope Foxconn never has any business issues that put Apple at risk.
 
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Sasparilla

macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
1,695
2,860
This is good news for those of us in Northeast Ohio
It's not if you've followed what Foxconn has previously done in the United States.

They've committed to production facilities in Michigan and Wisconsin previously and then never followed through with the jobs after pocketing the tax benefits and good PR the politicians "getting the deals" gave them etc..

Hopefully this might be different, but history does not provide a nice guide. They typically only generate real jobs where its super cheap to employ people - totally not the U.S..
 
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oldoneeye

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2014
108
303
Unless of course they're going to use it for a more traditional use - large factory floor space ...
 
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jmgregory1

macrumors 68030
I can’t believe Foxconn is spending the money to build the Lordstown re-badged / electrified GM pickup truck. I’m guessing the entire production facility and equipment will need to be updated and modernized if it’s going to be useful for building any modern electric vehicles for Apple or literally anyone else. As a born and bred Wisconsinite, I would have rather seen they build the factory from scratch at their Wisconsin “campus”, given it really was set up to handle high volume production of something.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,748
2,204
Pennsylvania
You know when it hits CNN and CNBC it was happening in China 6 months ago, so maybe the US will be a more viable place to complete assembly, IDK.
If my niche hobby is any indicator, manufacturing costs in China have risen around 20% in the last year. At 50% it starts to look reasonable, but it will probably take a 100% increase before they're willing to risk investing millions into building a shop and training employees in a specialized field, for what would ultimately end up being unskilled (read: minimum wage) labor. Of course that was back when minimum wage was $7.25, not de facto closer to $15/hour, so I'm not sure how that factors in...

On the other hand, making plastic is coming down in price so we may see "made in the USA but assembled in China" at some point. That would not only be a good stepping stone, but it would allow American manufacturers to keep 100% ownership of their molds.

Long story short, there's a lot that goes into it, and while it might be feasible, businesses that are naturally risk-averse probably won't adopt "Made in America" for a while still.
 
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grjj

macrumors regular
Apr 5, 2014
198
392
If current software indicates how stable this car will be, will it be called “buggy”?
If you focus on the few glitches in any release, things look dire; sure. But 99.999% of the software works perfectly.
The VW I bought has little bugs and glitches in the software, but while I'd like them fixed, they are basically 1st world problem issues. Like the drive selector in the dash might show "D" when I've moved to Economy setup and it should say "E". Drives as it should, just a display glitch.
Very few people are experiencing any sort of "it doesn't work at all" bugs in any of Apple's software releases. The last one I can recall was when an iOS update disabled cellular on Asian iPhones, and that update was pulled and patched pretty quickly.

Didn't Foxconn grift Michigan out of a pile of cash promising to make flat screen TV's and leave town in the dark of night like a monorail salesman from "The Simpsons"?

Side note. The days of cheap manufacturing in China are coming to a close. Energy supply issues. You know when it hits CNN and CNBC it was happening in China 6 months ago, so maybe the US will be a more viable place to complete assembly, IDK.
The reason that so much manufacturing happens in China isn't nearly driven as much by labor costs as people think. It's really two other things:
a) labor skills: in the US we've all but abandoned the skilled trades such as tool and die creation. China embraces those skills. An Apple exec once said there's basically a handful of people in the US with those skills but in China you can fill multiple sports stadiums with people possessing those skill sets.
b)Labor pool: You'll read articles about Foxconn needing 30,000 employees to ramp up production for new products or during holiday, and they can fill that demand in a few days. That simply cannot happen in the US. Foxconn would need to open many locations across the country to sate their need for labor and that would dramatically reduce their efficiencies.
 

Flight Plan

macrumors 6502a
May 26, 2014
622
552
Southeastern US
Foxconn is in for a huge awakening. Northern Ohio hasn't built anything outside of a labor union since about 1735, right? Okay, I'm being facetious, but only a little.

Because the Lordstown workers are all members of the UAW local? They don't call that part of the country "the rust belt" just because they salt the roads when it snows!

I don't think Foxconn knows what a union is. Just wait until the first one comes off the line with a wrinkle in the paint or an improperly connected air bag. If the union has any urge to strike (and they often do), that car will get sold as is, right along with any that may be proven to have exploding batteries or wheels with faulty bearings, boots, or bolts.

Nobody will fix it because the union will have rules against that. Yeah, I said it; deal with it.

I know how this goes. My family and I owned and drove GM cars for decades. We kept the faith far far longer than General Motors had the right to expect. Some of us even worked for a local.

We were not in the UAW, but it's all the same; the worst performers learn how to game the system and avoid doing real work, while the people with a conscience are berated and even penalized for doing the right thing. Pick up a piece of paper so that my co-workers won't slip and fall on the greasy plant floor? No, you can't do that, there's somebody who's job is to do ONLY that thing all day. Pick up paper. Okay, but where is he? Oh, he's smoking pot in the locker room.

Finally, I had had enough of breakdowns and expensive, poorly made parts from the RenCen (GM's headquarters in downtown Detroit).

So I made my own flight plan and got out of the unions, moved away from the rust belt, and s sold off my last lemon General Motors product. I haven't driven anything from GM or Chrysler since. Everybody else (and I do mean everybody) was making a better, more reliable vehicle. Even Subaru and VW! And after a bailout (instead of a bankruptcy, which would have been the right thing to do), GM still wasn't making good products, so I haven't been back.

No, I don't lay ALL of this at the feet of the unions. But it's a big piece of it. A huge piece of it even, and Foxconn probably has no idea what they're getting themselves into.

But I could be wrong, and maybe Foxconn will bring the bigger hammer. In that case, then maybe the unions will be in for a huge awakening and we'll see some real change in quality coming from the automotive industry.

Either way, this should be fun to watch, so I plan to pop some popcorn for this show. The unfortunate side-effect of course, is that anything Foxconn makes or assembles, whether for Apple or anybody else, will probably just become even more expensive. We'll have to see how this all susses out.
 

brucewayne

macrumors 6502
Nov 8, 2005
261
413
This is a bad move. 'Made in America' isn't just jobs, it is reducing our reliance on overseas manufacturing in general.

Apple is sitting on enough cash to write a check for that entire amount and not blink - it is about time they start re-investing in our country.
 
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