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Foxconn Technology has set up a joint venture with Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co signed an agreement as part of the Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturer’s initiative to foray into electric vehicle manufacturing.

Two light vehicles designed using Foxconn’s EV platform will be unveiled later this year, Chairman Young Liu of Foxconn’s flagship unit Hon Hai Precision Industry said. The move of Foxconn comes close on the heels of the company’s decision to support struggling Chinese startup Byton.

Foxconn has been seeking to strengthen its automotive capabilities at a time when technology companies including its customer Apple Inc. are looking to expand in vehicles.

Software platform

Foxconn in October unveiled its first-ever EV chassis and a software platform aimed at helping automakers bring models to the market faster. The company now says that it would launch its first such vehicle by the end-2021 that will be built on its own open software and hardware platform.

Foxconn has been inviting suppliers across a range of industries to join its MIH-based alliance, which it established last October. So far, the alliance has attracted more than 700 companies from around the world, including Qualcomm, MediaTek, Arm, AWS and STMicroelectronics, according to Foxconn.

The world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer announced ad joint venture with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in January 2020 to make electric cars in China for the local market, but that partnership has been delayed until Fiat completes its merger with French rival Peugeot.

Electric bus

Foxconn will host the first MIH alliance conference next month. Members will discuss plans for the group, Liu said. Further, Foxconn may also help launch an electric bus around the same time, he added.

Foxconn set up another EV joint venture with Taiwanese carmaker Yulon Motor last year. Yulon, nearly 70 years old, produces Nissan and Mitsubishi cars for Taiwan, and also has its own brand, Luxgen.

The Taiwanese tech major, which is formally trades as Hon Hai Precision Industry, is aiming to control up to 10% of the global market for electric vehicle platforms by 2025 as it seeks to counter the slowdown in the smartphone industry. Foxconn had also announced it tie up with Chinese electric car NIO also in 2017.

NIO Inc. unveiled its fourth production model luxury ET7 sedan, costing between $69,185 and $81,230 depending on the configuration during Najuary second week.

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