Hon Hai Precision Industry, the main assembler of Apple’s iPhones, will establish a joint venture with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to develop and make electric vehicles in China.
Hon Hai and its subsidiaries will hold 50% of the venture and Fiat Chrysler the rest, the Taiwanese company said in an exchange filing. While the two companies have yet to sign a formal agreement, they plan to target the Chinese market first and consider exporting cars later. They aim to ink the agreement in the first quarter, according to a person familiar with the matter, and Hon Hai’s Hong Kong-listed unit FIT Hon Teng will also be involved. Fiat Chrysler declined to comment beyond the filing.
Hon Hai, the primary listed vehicle for Terry Gou’s Foxconn Technology Group, seeks to diversify from its role as the assembler of a swath of the world’s electronics from Macbooks to Sony Playstations. The company aims to employ its expertise in precision manufacturing and supply chain management to grow the automotive business to 10% of revenue in the long run, Chairman Young Liu told Bloomberg News.
Hon Hai and Fiat Chrysler are focusing on the Chinese market because of sheer volume, the executive said. While consumers in the country buy more electric vehicles than anywhere else in the world, sales have slumped since the government pared back subsidies amid a broader market downturn in demand.Related: Dongfeng Poised to Sell Down Stake in Peugeot-Maker