An electronics contract manufacturing company responsible for building almost all iPhones is planning to set up shop in Michigan.
Foxconn has become known for building almost all iPhone devices, but as the company has grown, so has its aspirations, which explains the move to Michigan.
Southeast Michigan has a lot to offer, such as land and expertise. Foxconn looked in Lyon Township, but it's farmland near Metro Airport that's getting the lion's share of attention for the project.
Terry Gou, CEO of Foxconn, spent time with President Donald Trump and announced a 10,000-person television LED screen manufacturing plant in Wisconsin over the past couple weeks.
Now Gou is in talks with the state of Michigan for something based here. The South China Morning Post said it's for autonomous vehicle facilities in Michigan.
Nobody at Foxconn or the state of Michigan is giving specifics, but the possibilities are considerable. Navigant Auto and Clean Energy Industry Analyst Sam Abuelsamid said Foxconn doesn't do anything small.
"Looking into setting up development facilities to develop their hardware and validate it, and then presumably, ultimately, to manufacture some of that hardware, if not complete vehicles," Abuelsamid said.
You won't find Taiwan-based Foxconn's name on anything. The company quietly and profitably manufactures high-tech items and likes to build where there is a strong supply base, which Michigan offers, along with engineering and manufacturing expertise.
If Foxconn comes to Michigan, it would tilt the tables toward the state in the battle with Silicon Valley to become the autonomous vehicle capital of the world.
"It could be a few dozen or a few hundred people hired for R&D," Abuelsamid said. "If it gets to manufacturing, it could be thousands or even tens of thousands of people, depending on the scale of what they end up doing."
Gov. Rick Snyder is on his way home from China right now, and his office said there's no announcement imminent regarding the project. Chances are there is more to negotiate, but the minute a deal is struck, we're likely
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