Hon Hai makes major investment in US-based electric vehicle OEM – Lordstown Motors

Taiwanese electronics giant Hon Hai Technology has announced the signing of a contract manufacturing agreement and a joint venture agreement for product development with Lordstown Motors Corp, an OEM of electric light-duty trucks.

With its expertise in hardware software integration and production management of electronics manufacturing, Hon Hai will leverage Lordstown team’s automaking experience and bring the electric pickup truck “Endurance” into mass production. The collaboration between Hon Hai and Lordstown is a classic example of joint effort between startup electronic vehicle manufacturer and information & communications service provider.

Already on November 10, 2021, Lordstown Motors and Foxconn entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement (“APA”) providing for the sale of LMC’s Lordstown, Ohio vehicle assembly plant to Foxconn for US$230 million plus the reimbursement of certain operating and expansion costs from September 1, 2021 to the closing date.

On May 11, the transactions under the APA were completed. Total proceeds to LMC were $230 million, plus the reimbursement of approximately $27 million in operating and expansion costs. In addition, Foxconn had previously purchased $50 million of LMC Class A common stock directly from the company. Concurrently with the closing, Foxconn and Lordstown Motors entered into a manufacturing supply agreement for the Endurance.

Start of commercial production of the Endurance is targeted for the third quarter of this year, with the first commercial deliveries expected in fourth quarter. Foxconn will assume manufacturing operations at the Lordstown plant immediately with no interruption. Approximately 400 skilled and talented LMC employees will transition to employment with Foxconn.

In connection with the closing of the APA, Foxconn and LMC also entered into a joint venture agreement to co-develop EV programs using Foxconn’s Mobility-in-Harmony (MIH) open-source EV platform. The new joint venture will be called MIH EV Design LLC and will be 55% owned by Foxconn and 45% by LMC. Foxconn is committing $100 million towards the new joint venture, including a loan to Lordstown for US$45 million to support its initial capital commitment.

The joint venture creates an innovative business model whereby LMC and Foxconn would jointly develop new electric vehicles, utilising the MIH platform, for LMC in the North American commercial vehicle market and for other OEMs internationally.

Lordstown
The Lordstown Endurance electric pickup will begin production in the third quarter 2022, with deliveries in the fourth quarter 2022.

Vehicles developed by MIH EV Design would be built for North America at the Lordstown, Ohio plant, and at other Foxconn contract-manufacturing locations around the world. The objective is for OEM users of Foxconn’s flexible MIH platform, manufacturing footprint, and supply chain to achieve production scale at lower volumes and with a shorter time to market.

The joint venture also leverages Lordstown Motors’ strong engineering and product development capabilities globally and provides LMC a scalable vehicle development platform in North America, accelerating EV development, reducing product development costs, and increasing the breadth of LMC’s product portfolio over time.

“The closing of the Foxconn APA and the completion of a joint venture agreement for the development of new electric vehicles using Foxconn’s MIH platform are important milestones for LMC,” said Daniel Ninivaggi, CEO of Lordstown Motors. “Our strategic partnership with Foxconn provides LMC with a flexible and less capital-intensive business model, access to broad supply chain and software capabilities and an effective vehicle development platform to bring EVs to market faster and more efficiently. I have always been a strong believer in what Foxconn is doing to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and we are proud to be their partner.”

“The creation of the MIH EV Design LLC joint venture between Lordstown Motors and Foxconn supports the EV ambitions of both companies. The MIH shared EV architecture will create synergies in vehicle design, engineering, development, testing, sourcing, and manufacturing. This will enable us to create innovative and winning products for our customers, while optimising costs and reducing our time to market,” said Edward T. Hightower, President of Lordstown Motors.

Read also: HON HAI GROUP MOVES INTO SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT FOR AUTO APPS

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