Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Foxconn Technology, maker of the Apple iPhone and MacBook, are in preliminary joint venture talks to build an electric vehicle for China. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is in merger talks with Groupe PSA, the owner of the Peugeot and Citroën vehicle brands

By Ian Horswill

Posted on January 20, 2020

The company which owns the electronics manufacturer that makes Apple iPhones, MacBooks and Sony Playstations, is in joint venture talks with major car company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in a bid to build electric vehicles for China.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co and Italian-US multinational corporation Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles would be equal partners in the venture, according to statements filed with Bloomberg. A formal agreement is expected to be signed in the first quarter of this year.

Hon Hai, the primary listed vehicle for billionaire Terry Gou’s Foxconn Technology Group, aims to use its expertise in precision manufacturing and supply chain management to build the automotive business to 10% of revenue in the long term.

Young Liu, Foxconn’s chairman, told Bloomberg that Foxconn “will be responsible for design, components and supply chain management”.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said in a statement that it is in talks with Foxconn Technology Group (Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.) and the two companies are “in the process of signing a preliminary agreement which will govern further discussions aimed at reaching final binding agreements in the next few months”.

There isn’t any guarantee that a final agreement will be reached, added Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

It has not been stated which electric car or cars Fiat Chrysler Automobiles intends to manufacture if the joint-venture facility is realised, but it has publicly committed to developing a pure electric version of the next-generation Fiat 500, CarAdvice reported.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the eighth largest vehicle manufacturer globally, is in the process of completing a merger of equals with Groupe PSA (owner of the Peugeot and Citroën brands) but finalisation of the deal is not expected until later this year 2020 or in 2021.

Sales of electric vehicles in China dropped considerably in 2019 as the government reduced subsidies. China’s cut in EV subsidies led to global EV sales dropping for the first time on record in July, analysts at Bernstein estimated. China represents around half of all global EV sales.

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