Apple has partnered with Foxconn to build a complete electric vehicle supply chain in Saudi Arabia. The deal will enable the iPhone maker to manufacture its electric vehicles at Foxconn's plants in the region.
Foxconn, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, is one of Apple's major suppliers for iPhones and other products, including laptops and iPads. It is also known for building products for other companies such as Samsung Electronics, Xiaomi, Microsoft and Amazon.
The deal will see Foxconn invest $5 billion over five years in manufacturing electronics components for Apple's car project. The company will also hire 40,000 additional employees over the next five years to work on the project.
Foxconn, which is known for manufacturing iPhones and iPads, has signed a deal with the government of Saudi Arabia to begin making electric vehicles in 2020. The two companies will also work together on research and development for new technologies such as artificial intelligence and autonomous driving systems. According to the Nikkei report, Foxconn is also building a new plant in Saudi Arabia that will be capable of producing over 5 million cars per year. The company has reportedly spent $50 billion on new plants in China and Mexico over the past six years. The company currently makes more than half a million iPhones per day at its main Shenzhen plant in China and plans to expand production there by 20 percent over the next four years.
The deal was confirmed by Saudi news site Arab News on Thursday, which said it had learned of the deal through "industry sources." Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou said last year that he wanted to build cars in China but was unable to because of trade tensions between China and the United States. He has said he'd like to manufacture in the United States as well if possible.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced plans to build a $500 billion domestic economy over the next 10 years.
In an interview with CNBC, Mohammed bin Salman said the plan would include creating 100 new cities, as well as reducing unemployment from 11 percent to 3 percent. He also said that Saudi Arabia would boost its solar energy production by 50 percent in the next five years.
He added that Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 plan will help develop its own economy, rather than relying on oil exports.
Saudi Arabia is one of the leading countries in building electric vehicles. The first Saudi-made electric vehicle, a smart fortwo, was launched in 2014. Since then, the country has been developing an extensive charging infrastructure and has announced plans to build a network of rapid chargers along its borders with Jordan and Iran.
The kingdom also plans to roll out a national energy strategy by 2030 that will focus on reducing its reliance on oil. According to government officials, this should be done through alternative sources such as solar power and wind energy.
The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has announced plans to invest billions of dollars into renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro and geothermal by 2030. The company wants to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels by 70 per cent by 2050.
Saudi Arabia has been one of the biggest drivers behind this growth because of its huge oil reserves and its desire to develop more environmentally friendly solutions for transportation. The government plans to invest billions of dollars into building charging stations across the country that will allow drivers to recharge their cars when they’re running low on power.
The country is planning to launch maximum EV model within the next three years. The company will also build an assembly plant in Jeddah that will produce 1,000 cars per year.
The Saudi Arabian government has provided funding for this project and expects to get benefits from this investment in the future.
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