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Foxconn’s ‘expertise’ in spotlight during tour today

LORDSTOWN — Taiwanese technology and electronics giant Foxconn will open the doors of its newly acquired automaking factory today to host a delegation of local, state and foreign business leaders and others connected to the electric-vehicle supply chain industry.

About 40 guests are expected to tour the 6.2 million-square-foot plant acquired in May, including representatives from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO); JobsOhio, the state’s private economic development corporation; and the American Institute in Taiwan, a nongovernmental agency created to carry out the United States’ unofficial relations with Taiwan.

The goal, according to a Foxconn spokesman, is to “display Foxconn’s manufacturing expertise” at the plant.

The tour will be followed by a roundtable discussion with Foxconn officials at the Grand Resort in Howland.

Foxconn acquired the plant for $230 million in May from electric-vehicle startup Lordstown Motors Corp., which bought the factory from General Motors for $20 million in December 2019, almost a year after GM closed the facility.

“The Mahoning Valley is honored to welcome TECO, Foxconn and the entire delegation of Taiwanese businesses. We are grateful for the investment Foxconn is making in the Valley, for the interest that TECO is showing in the Valley and for the opportunity to assist additional companies from Taiwan,” said Guy Coviello, president / CEO of the Youngstown / Warren Regional Chamber.

“Kudos to Sean O’Brien, who, long after serving as our state senator, continues to help us develop the local economy,” Coviello said. “He has been instrumental in organizing this event.”

The deal struck between Lordstown Motors and Foxconn calls for Foxconn to become the contract manufacturer for Lordstown Motors’ first vehicle, the all-battery Endurance pickup truck. It also includes a critical joint-venture agreement to co-develop future electric vehicles.

Under the joint-venture agreement, Foxconn has committed $100 million to the new company, MIH EV Design LLC, including a $45 million loan to Lordstown Motors to support its initial capital commitment.

Foxconn will own 55 percent of the company and Lordstown Motors, 45 percent. Vehicles developed by MIH EV Design would be built for North America at the Lordstown plant and at other contract-manufacturing locations around the world.

Limited production of the Endurance is targeted for the third quarter with some commercial deliveries expected in the fourth quarter.

The factory also will be the production hub for the PEAR, the second electric-vehicle offering from California-based electric-vehicle manufacturer Fisker Inc. through a manufacturing agreement with Foxconn.

Earlier this month, Fisker announced development of the PEAR — Personal Electric Automotive Revolution — is well underway with prototype testing expected to start at the end of the year.

The company also announced vehicle reservations had surpassed 3,200 and production is scheduled for 2024.

After the initial ramp-up period, it’s expected at least 250,000 PEAR units would be built per year at the facility. The vehicle is expected to have a base price below $29,900 before incentives.

Fisker officials are not expected to be part of today’s activities, however Henrik Fisker, chairman and CEO, visited the plant in May.

rselak@tribtoday.com

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