Trump declared that Foxconn in Wisconsin would be the eighth wonder of the world, but one of the world’s true wonders would not depend on empty buildings and it wouldn’t have a leader who needs a nap, but here we are.
Following his earlier examination on Foxconn’s habit of using empty buildings to dupe the gullible, Nilay Patel now reports Foxconn says empty buildings in Wisconsin are not empty (“While announcing another empty building”):
Well, here we are again.
Earlier this week, The Verge published a lengthy investigation into the many “innovation centers” Foxconn has announced in Wisconsin as part of its deal with President Trump to build a (status unknown) LCD manufacturing plant in the state. After spending 10 days on the ground, we simply reported the obvious: most of the “innovation centers” are empty, some of the buildings were never actually purchased, and no one in Wisconsin really seems to know what’s going on.
Today, Foxconn responded to that piece by… announcing another innovation center in Wisconsin, this one in Madison, the state’s capital. The building, which currently houses a bank, actually sits directly across the street from the Capitol building, and it will continue to house the bank because Foxconn did not announce when it would be moving in.
Here are some other things Foxconn did not announce: how much it had paid for the building, how many floors of the building it would occupy, how many people would work there, or what those people would be doing.
Foxconn’s executives must think that Wisconsinites are dimwitted children to persist in these feeble public-relations efforts.
The seemingly always simmering Foxconn pot bubbled again Monday, this time with a report from Reuters that Terry Gou, the founder who built the firm into one of the world’s largest companies, will step down as chairman in the coming months.
Foxconn denied Gou will give up the chairman post, and said he will “continue to provide strategic direction and guidance.”
But the company’s statement acknowledged that Gou, 68, wants “to withdraw from daily operations” in favor of “a new generation of talent.”
In any event, the latest development may raise questions — again — about the future of Foxconn’s much-watched and heavily subsidized Wisconsin project.
Oh dearie me.
If this vast project rested soundly on business profitability and fiscal prudence, then the departure of a leader here or there would not matter. If this vast project rested soundly on business profitability and fiscal prudence, then there would be no need for shell buildings to dupe people.
As this vast project rests only on political schemes and cronyism, it’s doomed to fail.
It should be disappointing in a city of reasonable men and women that a few denizens of 312 W. Whitewater Street and 1221 Innovation Drive claimed otherwise.
Previously: 10 Key Articles About Foxconn, Foxconn as Alchemy: Magic Multipliers, Foxconn Destroys Single-Family Homes, Foxconn Devours Tens of Millions from State’s Road Repair Budget, The Man Behind the Foxconn Project, A Sham News Story on Foxconn, Another Pig at the Trough, Even Foxconn’s Projections Show a Vulnerable (Replaceable) Workforce, Foxconn in Wisconsin: Not So High Tech After All, Foxconn’s Ambition is Automation, While Appeasing the Politically Ambitious, Foxconn’s Shabby Workplace Conditions, Foxconn’s Bait & Switch, Foxconn’s (Overwhelmingly) Low-Paying Jobs, The Next Guest Speaker, Trump, 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 & Fraud, Foxconn 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 Stupid, Lost 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, and Foxconn: Heckuva Supply Chain They Have There…