Daily Bread for 10.2.21: Foxconn Slips Away in the Night

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be rainy with a high of 79.  Sunrise is 6:54 AM and sunset 6:33 PM for 11h 38m 32s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 18.4% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 2018, the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi is murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

 Adam Rogan reports Foxconn may be purchasing an electric vehicle factory in Ohio as Mount Pleasant plans sit in limbo:

Foxconn reportedly is in the process of purchasing an already-built, 6.2 million-square-foot electric vehicle factory in northeast Ohio.

Lordstown Motors Corp. is “near an agreement to sell its … Ohio factory to Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group,” Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

The factory — located in the Village of Lordstown, about halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh — was originally a General Motors Co. factory, sold to Lordstown in 2019 after GM closed it the year prior.

Lordstown is an American electric truck company, reportedly low on cash and facing legal scrutiny for allegedly lying about the number of preorders it had; its founder resigned in June amid the investigation.

Foxconn has been moving quickly into the business of producing electric vehicles and has partnered with California-based Fisker Inc.; Foxconn has promised to make some of Fisker’s first EV vehicles.

As commenter Joe has noted here at FREE WHITEWATER, Fisker has always been an uncertain prospect for the Foxconn, itself an unreliable company. Credit where credit is due: Foxconn managed to find a company as disreputable as it is (“Lordstown is an American electric truck company, reportedly low on cash and facing legal scrutiny for allegedly lying about the number of preorders it had”: a perfect match).

Foxconn slips off to Ohio without even leaving a note on Wisconsin’s nightstand…

Previously10 Key Articles About FoxconnFoxconn as Alchemy: Magic Multipliers,  Foxconn Destroys Single-Family HomesFoxconn Devours Tens of Millions from State’s Road Repair BudgetThe Man Behind the Foxconn ProjectA Sham News Story on Foxconn, Another Pig at the TroughEven Foxconn’s Projections Show a Vulnerable (Replaceable) WorkforceFoxconn in Wisconsin: Not So High Tech After All, Foxconn’s Ambition is Automation, While Appeasing the Politically Ambitious, Foxconn’s Shabby Workplace ConditionsFoxconn’s Bait & SwitchFoxconn’s (Overwhelmingly) Low-Paying JobsThe Next Guest SpeakerTrump, Ryan, and Walker Want to Seize Wisconsin Homes to Build Foxconn Plant, Foxconn Deal Melts Away“Later This Year,” Foxconn’s Secret Deal with UW-Madison, Foxconn’s Predatory Reliance on Eminent Domain, Foxconn: Failure & FraudFoxconn Roundup: Desperately Ill Edition,  Foxconn Roundup: Indiana Layoffs & Automation Everywhere, Foxconn Roundup: Outside Work and Local Land, Foxconn Couldn’t Even Meet Its Low First-Year Goal, Foxconn Talks of Folding Wisconsin Manufacturing Plans, WISGOP Assembly Speaker Vos Hopes You’re StupidLost Homes and Land, All Over a Foxconn Fantasy, Laughable Spin as Industrial Policy, Foxconn: The ‘State Visit Project,’ ‘Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn,’ Foxconn: When the Going Gets Tough…, The Amazon-New York Deal, Like the Foxconn Deal, Was Bad Policy, Foxconn Roundup, Foxconn: The Roads to Nowhere, Foxconn: Evidence of Bad Policy Judgment, Foxconn: Behind Those Headlines, Foxconn: On Shaky Ground, Literally, Foxconn: Heckuva Supply Chain They Have There…, Foxconn: Still Empty, and the Chairman of the Board Needs a Nap, Foxconn: Cleanup on Aisle 4, Foxconn: The Closer One Gets, The Worse It Is, Foxconn Confirm Gov. Evers’s Claim of a Renegotiation DiscussionAmerica’s Best Know Better, Despite Denials, Foxconn’s Empty Buildings Are Still Empty, Right on Schedule – A Foxconn Delay, Foxconn: Reality as a (Predictable) Disappointment, Town Residents Claim Trump’s Foxconn Factory Deal Failed Them, Foxconn: Independent Study Confirms Project is Beyond Repair, It Shouldn’t, Foxconn: Wrecking Ordinary Lives for Nothing, Hey, Wisconsin, How About an Airport-Coffee Robot?, Be Patient, UW-Madison: Only $99,300,000.00 to Go!, Foxconn: First In, Now Out, Foxconn on the Same Day: Yes…um, just kidding, we mean no, Foxconn: ‘Innovation Centers’ Gone in a Puff of Smoke, Foxconn: Worse Than Nothing, Foxconn: State of Wisconsin Demands Accountability, Foreign Corporation Stalls, Foxconn Notices the NoticeableJournal Sentinel’s Rick Romell Reports the Obvious about Foxconn Project, Foxconn’s ‘Innovation’ Centers: Still Empty a Year Later, Foxconn & UW-Madison: Two Years and Less Than One Percent Later…, Accountability Comes Calling at Foxconn, Highlight’s from The Verge’s Foxconn AssessmentAfter Years of Promises, Foxconn Will Think of Something…by JulyFoxconn’s Venture Capital FundNew, More Realistic Deal Means 90% Reduction in Goals, Seth Meyers on One of Trump’s (and Walker’s) Biggest Scams, the Foxconn DealAdding the Amounts Spent for Foxconn (So Far), and Perhaps – Perhaps – a Few Lessons Learned.

New dinosaur species identified in Brazil:

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2 years ago

It wasn’t all that hard to see where this was and is going. The EV biz is not easy to get into. Recycling an obsolete GM plant makes more sense than building a complete new physical plant in SE Wisco-World.

Noting that it makes more sense does not means that it actually will happen though. Both Fisker and Lordstown Motors have sketchy histories and no current products. For that matter, Foxconn has no demonstrated expertise in the EV business, either. iPhones and electric cars are fundamentally different products, particularly at high rates of production.

The barriers to entry in the EV market are getting higher rapidly. EV’s were once nice niche products, and a relatively small company (compared to GM) like Tesla could get into the market successfully. That is no longer the case, as almost all auto makers, world-wide, have committed to getting out of making Internal Combustion engine powered cars in the next 20 years. My guess, presuming sufficient Lithium supplies, is that it happens even sooner.

We are in the early stages of a transportation revolution that is fully as disruptive as the steam/IC engine transition. The big-guys have figured that out and are deep into re-tooling already, and are moving hard on ramping up battery production facilities. Batteries are absolutely the key component of making EV profitable, and having a captive source is key to that. Tesla, with its Reno GigaFactory, figured that out many years ago, and Ford is plugging $6B into 1500 acres of KY to do the same.

Foxconn/Lordstown/Fisker have no battery expertise or production capacity, and no published plans to get any. This has more than a whiff of being just another public subsidy ploy that will never come to fruition. How many times can Foxconn run this scam? Their reputation, at this point, is already radioactive enuf to glow like Kryptonite. They have burned so many public/private entities so far that they are a major contributor to global warming.