Bruce Murphy
Back in the News

Foxconn In Talks for Saudi Arabian Plant

$9 billion facility to make microchips, electric-vehicle parts while promised plant for Wisconsin yet to happen.

By - Mar 16th, 2022 01:31 pm
Foxconn. Photo by Dave Reid.

Foxconn. Photo by Dave Reid.

Foxconn is in talks with Saudi Arabia about building a “$9 billion multipurpose facility that could make microchips, electric-vehicle components and other electronics like displays,” according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The size of the project is very close to the $10 billion plant the Taiwanese company promised to build in Wisconsin back in July 2017, more than four-and-a-half years ago. It is yet another sign the company has no intention of building anything close to the “8th wonder of the world” that then-President Donald Trump touted, and which then-Governor Scott Walker promised would transform Wisconsin’s economy.

“The Saudi government is reviewing an offer from the company, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., to build a dual-line foundry for surface-mount technology and wafer fabrication in Neom, a tech-focused city-state the kingdom is developing in the desert,” sources told the publication  “Discussions over the project started last year.”

Foxconn is also talking with the United Arab Emirates about potentially situating the project there, the story said.

The project comes on the heels of Foxconn’s announcement, in November, that it would be buying the 6.2-million-square-foot, former General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio from struggling EV startup Lordstown Motors. Foxconn said it also agreed to contract manufacture Lordstown Motors’ electric pickup truck, the Endurance.

Prior to this Foxconn had discussed the possibility of manufacturing electric vehicles or components at the massive campus in Mount Pleasant, WI. that state and local officials have spent some $750 million on roads and infrastructure to build out, a figure that could rise to $1.34 billion if local officials in Mount Pleasant and Racine County complete all the work they had promised. But the Lordstown facility, since it was already built to manufacture cars, probably involved less investment for Foxconn than building anew in Mount Pleasant.

Meanwhile Foxconn has yet to manufacture anything there, much less deliver on its promised $10 billion capital investment, creating 13,000 jobs on a manufacturing campus of 20 million square feet.

After quickly downscaling and eventually abandoning its original plan to create a 10.5 LCD fabrication facility,  the company has floated plan after plan to manufacture something in Mount Pleasant, none of which have panned out. Finally, in April 2021, it agreed to a scaled-down contract with the state that cuts the potential state tax credit from $2.85 billion to $80 million and cuts Foxconn’s hiring and investment targets to just 1,454 workers and $672 million invested. There has been little progress so far on realizing these goals.

One thought on “Back in the News: Foxconn In Talks for Saudi Arabian Plant”

  1. Thomas Williams says:

    Oh yeah we welcome a company owned by a government that last week executed 81 people? And what Putin inc. is next? This is ludicrous! Recognizing the need for employment opportunities still should cause some evaluation of the source of the capital investments? Walker et al has placed an economic noose around the throat of Kenosha and pleasant prairie but there must be a more humane alternative!

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