Apple iPhone maker Foxconn says it wants to make cars for Tesla

Young Liu, chairman of Foxconn Technology Group, speaks in front of a Model C electric vehicle during an event in Taipei, Taiwan, on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. Liu said he hopes one day that Foxconn can make cars for Tesla.

I-Hwa Cheng | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Foxconn, the biggest assembler of Apple’s iPhones, wants to one day build cars for Tesla, the company’s CEO said, as it pushes further into electric vehicle manufacturing.

Hon Hai Technology Group, Foxconn’s official name, launched two electric vehicle prototypes on Tuesday — the Model V pickup truck and Model B sports crossover hatchback.

But Foxconn doesn’t want to sell its own-brand cars. Instead it wants to design and manufacture vehicles for other automakers. The company claims that it can cut the design time of a car in half and reduce the development cost by a third for an automaker wanting to use its services.

The Taiwanese firm has big ambitions. Young Liu, CEO and chairman of Foxconn, said on Tuesday that the company is targeting 5% market share globally of electric vehicle manufacturing by 2025, adding that he hopes Tesla will be a customer.

“I hope one day we can do Tesla cars for Tesla,” Liu said.

Tesla currently manufactures its own cars at its factories around the world — in its U.S. locations and in Berlin and Shanghai.

Elon Musk’s Tesla was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

Over the past two years, Foxconn has been ramping up its electric vehicle business.

Last year, the company unveiled three prototype cars. Two of those are currently on the roads. The Model T electric bus is part of the public transportation system in Taiwan and the Model C is a production vehicle branded as the Luxgen n7 by Taiwanese automaker Yulon Motor.

Liu said he wants Foxconn’s customers to sell “a lot of EVs.”

Foxconn has built its business over the last few decades in consumer electronics manufacturing and assembly. But the company is now trying to diversify into new areas, with electric cars a key focus.

The five concept cars show that Foxconn “can design and build EVs that are good-looking and can stand up to safety,” Liu said.

Part of its current strategy is to show off its capabilities in the electric vehicle space at a time when many companies, in particular firms that have not traditionally been in the auto space, are jumping into the market.

In China for example, smartphone maker Xiaomi and internet firm Baidu, have launched electric car companies with an aim to mass produce vehicles.

Foxconn could be an option for companies looking to launch electric car ventures without the need to sink huge investments into own design and manufacturing ventures.