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

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

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.

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Top Rated Comments

tonywalker23 Avatar
36 months ago
If current software indicates how stable this car will be, will it be called “buggy”?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aristobrat Avatar
36 months ago

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"?
Wasn't that Wisconsin ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn_in_Wisconsin')?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Flight Plan Avatar
36 months ago
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.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sweetfeld28 Avatar
36 months ago
Very sad to see that plant mostly sitting idle when I drive by occasionally for work... glad it was bought by a company that hopefully will make use of all that property.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IIGS User Avatar
36 months ago
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.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IllinoisCorn Avatar
36 months ago
Important for that town.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)