Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, plans to establish a software research & development centre with the goal of hiring over 1,000 more software development engineers in the next three years.
This announcement by the Taiwan-based company coincided with the unveiling of its three electric vehicle (EV) prototypes - a sedan, an SUV and a bus -in a move to diversify into the automotive industry and a goal to become a major player in the global EV market.
The planned R&D centre will work on software innovations around smart gateway, smart cockpit, smart autonomous driving and other software applications.
“As the electric vehicle business develops and matures, Hon Hai will look to launch its open platform and other software. The group will also introduce enhancements on the software platform over time,” said Foxconn chairman Young Liu. Foxconn is formally known as Hon Hai Technology Group.
Foxconn unveiled first three EV prototypes and the planned R&D centre to support software development for its smart electric car ecosystem early this week during an event that marked the birthday of company founder Terry Gou.
“With the determination and support from Hon Hai, Foxtron will play a key role in the transformation of the automobile industry, leading the advancement of the automobile production value chain in Taiwan,” said Lilian Yen Chen, CEO, Yulon Motor.
The SUV is set to hit the Taiwan market in 2023 and is expected to be sold under one of Yulon's brands. The sedan, which was jointly developed with Italian design firm Pininfarina, are planned to be sold outside the island nation by a yet-to be-named carmaker in the coming years.
The bus will carry a Foxtron badge and is scheduled to start running in several cities in southern Taiwan next year in a partnership with a local transportation service provider.
“Hon Hai is ready and no longer the new kid in town,” said Foxconn’s Liu.
Meanwhile, Chi-Sen Tso, vice chairman of Foxtron, expressed hope that the Foxconn’s EV business will worth one trillion Taiwanese dollar (US$35 billion) in five years’ time.