Taiwanese company Foxconn has entered a deal with Chinese electric-vehicle startup Byton and the Chinese government’s Nanjing Economic and Technological Development Zone, which could see it to take a more direct role in car manufacturing.
The parties will attempt to get customer examples of Byton’s M-Byte battery-electric SUV into production by the first quarter of 2022. Byton started pre-production of the M-Byte last April but ran into cash troubles by July and was forced to cease operations.
In 2018, Byton said it planned to offer the M-Byte in the United States and said the vehicle would cost about $45,000. It isn’t clear if those plans remain, however.
Citing a person familiar with the new deal, Bloomberg reported Monday that Foxconn will invest around $200 million in Byton, as well as supply its expertise in manufacturing, procurement and operation management.
Foxconn is already an investor of some rival Chinese EV startups, including Xpeng, and the company is looking at potentially more collaborations in China, Bloomberg reported. In early 2020, the company also announced plans for a joint venture with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles relating to the production of EVs in China.
Foxconn is best known as being a contract manufacturer of electronic goods for clients such as Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Sony, but more recently the company has expanded to manufacturing electronic components for cars. Last October, the company unveiled its own modular EV platform which it said it would license to other firms.