Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) said it aims to secure a 10 percent share of the world’s electric vehicle market by 2025, with about 3 million vehicles potentially using its platform.
The electronics giant yesterday unveiled the plan to expand its nascent automobile business, saying that it seeks to offset slowing growth in its core consumer electronics assembly business.
The company also outlined plans to release a solid-state battery by 2024 that could potentially displace the more commonly used lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles.
Hon Hai plans to achieve its ambitious target by making its software and hardware platforms “open,” Hon Hai chairman Young Liu (劉揚偉) said during the company’s first “Foxconn Technology Day” in Taipei.
Liu, who in July last year took over from Hon Hai founder Terry Gou, has turned to the emerging automotive, robotics and medical applications sectors to boost profitability amid plateauing growth in smartphone units in the past few years.
“With our open platform, we will share the results of our development with everybody. It is to be owned by everybody, to be improved upon by everybody. This includes the open software platform and the open undercarriage platform,” Liu said. “This will cut down on repeat investment and make the Taiwanese electric vehicle supply chain more competitive and faster to market.”
The first vehicle using the open platform would enter the market in two years, and up to 10 percent of the world’s electric vehicles would be developed on the platform by 2025 to 2027, Liu said.
Hon Hai chief technology officer William Wei (魏國張) said that the company’s open software platform would make their vehicles “software defined” cars.
“The traditional car depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot, but a software-defined car can be upgraded by software updates,” Wei said. “In a closed system, you cannot have collaboration. Through our open platform, we can work together and shorten the development cycle. This lowers the entry barrier for developers.”
“Sector insider Paul Graham said that Tesla is the iPhone of electric vehicles, but there is no Android yet,” Wei said. “We plan to be the Android.”
Hon Hai’s development partners include Taiwan’s Yulon Motor Co (裕隆汽車) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.
Hon Hai chief product officer Jerry Hsiao (蕭才祐) said the reason for Hon Hai’s confidence is that it controls key technologies for batteries and other vital components.
“Why Hon Hai? It is because we have the advantage in key components,” Hsiao said, adding that solid-state batteries and battery management through artificial intelligence would give Hon Hai the edge.
“The battery accounts for up to 35 percent of the cost of the vehicle,” Hsiao said. “Hon Hai will release the first commercial solid state battery in 2024.”
Smart battery management would improve battery performance, Hsiao said, adding that Hon Hai’s batteries “can even improve with time.”
The company’s self-driving technology is already being used in some airport shuttles in Japan, the company said.
Hon Hai last year generated almost NT$9.5 billion (US$327.82 million) in sales from automotive components.
The company is hoping that automotive and other new business branches can help boost its gross margin to 10 percent by 2025.
Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Taipei (文華東方酒店) plans to reopen its guestrooms in December to take advantage of a boom in domestic travel. The reopening would come six months after the five-star facility suspended room operations to cut costs as countries across the region impose border controls to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, diminishing demand for business travel. “We are delighted to share that Mandarin Oriental Taipei will resume room operations on December 1,” the hotel said in a statement yesterday. The hotel in Songshan District (松山) said it would adopt stringent health and safety practices to ensure the well-being of its guests and employees. It
HSBC Bank (Taiwan) Ltd (匯豐台灣商銀) has approved two sustainability-linked loans totaling NT$450 million (US$15.55 million) for Taya Group (大亞集團) and Sinbon Electronics Co (信邦電子), the bank said yesterday, adding that interest rates would fall if the borrowers’ sustainability performance improves. Those marked the first sustainability-linked loans granted by HSBC Taiwan, it said. While HSBC Taiwan has experience providing green loans for the nation’s developers of renewable energy sources to support their projects, the bank began focusing on sustainability-linked loans to meet rising demand from companies in other sectors planning to undertake sustainability programs, it said. “As we reward our clients who reach their
‘NEW TRAVEL MARKET’: The carrier initially planned to lay off about 8,000 people globally, but after government intervention reduced that to 18 percent of its workforce Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (國泰航空) would cut 6,000 jobs and close its Cathay Dragon brand, the South China Morning Post reported, as part of a strategic review to combat the unprecedented damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hong Kong-based airline is expected to officially announce the plan after the market close today, the newspaper said. It initially planned about 8,000 layoffs globally, but after government intervention reduced that to 18 percent of its total workforce, including about 5,000 jobs in Hong Kong, it said. The company, which posted a HK$9.9 billion (US$1.3 billion) loss in the first half, has for months
LEANNESS-ENHANCING DRUG: Assigning a commodity classification to meat containing ractopamine could come under scrutiny by the WTO, the economic affairs minister said Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) yesterday rejected opposition lawmakers’ calls to assign a product code for US pork and beef containing ractopamine. Facing a barrage of questions from lawmakers at a meeting of the legislature’s Economics Committee, Wang said that giving meat containing residues of ractopamine a commodity classification code would sow confusion and could come under scrutiny by the WTO. “Ractopamine is not a [meat] product, it is an additive,” said Wang, when questioned by Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator Chiu Chen-yuan (邱臣遠). “If we had a serial code for every additive it would cause confusion. There is