Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, announced on January 4 that it has entered into a framework agreement with EV manufacturer BYTON and the governing authority of the Nanjing Economic and Technological Development Zone. In the future, Foxconn and BYTON will work together to ramp up the production of M-Byte, which is the latter’s battery-electric SUV and first offering in the EV market. BYTON currently aims to achieve mass production for M-Byte by the first quarter of 2022.
According to media outlets covering this story, Foxconn has the intention to invest US$200 million in BYTON, and the two sides are now negotiating on this matter. While the goal of the partnership is to bring about the mass production of M-Byte starting in 2022, Foxconn stated that the framework agreement is limited to certain business collaborations. Foxconn also emphasized that it currently has no plan to directly invest in an EV manufacturer. In other words, the US$200 million capital injection into BYTON may be just a rumor.
As a relatively new entrant in both the EV market and the automotive industry, BYTON has encountered many difficult challenges in developing its vehicle and maintaining its operation. The company actually began a restructuring process in July last year and now appears to be seeking more funds from outside sources.
Speaking on this topic, Young Liu, chairman of Foxconn, said that forming alliances such as the one with BYTON is a critical part of its strategy for the EV market. He added that Foxconn will do its utmost to help BYTON start the mass production of M-Byte so that the model will soon be available on the international market. The signing of the framework agreement came just two months after the two sides made the initial contact. This feat not only reflects the rapidness of Foxconn’s expansion into the market for new energy vehicles but also BYTON’s swiftness in trying to turn itself around and relaunch its operation.
Foxconn further commented that its recent collaborations with companies in the automotive industry prove that its many years of valuable experience in advanced manufacturing of IT-related products and supply chain management is highly applicable to the development of the EV market. Under the framework agreement, Foxconn will provide BYTON with advanced manufacturing solutions, operational management expertise, and supply chain resources. BYTON will use these resources to improve and manage its existing production facility. Out of the deal, Foxconn can expect more demand for driving the growth of its EV component business.
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