By Sean Tucker
Foxconn is a stealth giant company. You may never have heard of them. But odds are good that you own some of their products. The Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer builds the iPhone for Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL -0.29% , the Kindle for Amazon /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN +0.55% , the Xbox for Microsoft /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT +1.05% , most PlayStations for Sony /zigman2/quotes/208567357/composite SONY -6.42% , most Nintendo /zigman2/quotes/201616881/composite NTDOY +0.21% gaming systems, and many computer components. The company doesn’t build cars, but that’s about to change.
Three designs, and an Ohio factory
Today, Foxconn /zigman2/quotes/204111604/delayed TW:2354 -0.66% unveiled three electric vehicles it hopes to sell globally within two years. It isn’t yet clear whether any of the three will reach U.S. consumers. But just three weeks ago, the company bought an Ohio car plant previously owned by startup Lordstown Motors /zigman2/quotes/211334938/composite RIDE -8.52% .
Under the purchase agreement, Foxconn will continue to build the Lordstown Endurance pickup on behalf of Lordstown Motors. But its new U.S. car manufacturing footprint could mean Foxconn plans to bring its EVs to market here.
Foxconn unveiled the three vehicles today under the brand name Foxtron.
The Foxtron Model C is a midsize SUV designed to have the interior space of a large luxury car. Foxconn claims it will get from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds and have a range of 434 miles on a charge.
Next, the Foxtron Model E is a midsize sedan with an exterior designed by the famed Italian design house Pininfarina. The Model E’s electric drivetrain boasts 750 horsepower and a claimed 2.8-second 0-to-60 mph time. It unlocks with facial recognition and is designed to serve as a “mobile office.” The company says it can travel 466 miles between charges.
The third vehicle is an electric city bus, which Foxconn has named the Model T. We assume Ford /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F -1.81% will not allow that name to fly in the U.S.
It’s a challenge, but it’s been done recently
To be clear, we’re not sure we’ll ever see any of these cars in the U.S. Starting up a new automaker is a tremendous challenge. For every Tesla /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA -11.55% that succeeds in building a foothold in the U.S. market, many others fail.
But Foxconn has tremendous financial resources. It has quickly moved from having no presence in the car market to owning a factory in America and showing off three vehicles in the media. It might well join Tesla and newer rivals like Lucid Motors /zigman2/quotes/221104327/composite LCID -14.10% and Rivian /zigman2/quotes/230726939/composite RIVN -10.50% on the list of startups to bring a new EV to market.
This story originally ran on KBB.com.