My Car Quest

December 4, 2022

A New Breed of Automobile Manufacturer is On the Way

by Mike Gulett –

The transition of the automobile industry to electric vehicles creates the opportunity for new players to get into the automobile business. This includes start up companies but also established companies with no experience in making cars.

Because of the change in technology (the electric motor instead of a complex internal combustion engine) the type of expertise required to be successful is more like being a computer or smart phone manufacturer than an automobile manufacturer.

This change allows and facilitates companies like Apple, Google and Sony becoming automobile manufacturers. And now we have Taiwan based Foxconn announcing their entry into the car market. Foxconn is a large contract manufacturer well known as the main supplier to Apple for the iPhone. They are also a major manufacturer of computers and just about all electronic devices. So to Foxconn an EV is similar to a smart phone except it is much larger and has wheels, brakes and a steering wheel.

Making their own ICE for high volume manufacturing would be daunting even for a company the size of Foxconn because of the mechanical complexity (not in their wheelhouse) and the ultimate issues with dealer training for maintenance and parts supplies. But now that automobiles are electric powered that is a different story, so enter Foxconn and soon many other electronic companies.

Foxconn plans to assemble this new EV at the Lordstown, Ohio factory, which was acquired from EV startup Lordstown Motors last year (who acquired this factory from GM). Foxconn will brand this new model as the Foxtron Model B, which was styled by Pininfarina.

Foxtron Model B

Foxtron Model B styled by Pininfarina

Other candidates for new EV car manufacturers in addition to Apple, Google and Sony are (in my opinion): Microsoft, Dell, Intel, Samsung, HP and many others. They would also be able to get started using the manufacturing capabilities of contract manufacturers such as Foxconn.

With technology transitions comes opportunities for new companies to establish a strong market position. Stay tuned as we see new companies enter the EV market and we may also see established car companies struggle with this technology and market transition because established car companies do not have a technology advantage when it comes to electric vehicles.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Foxtron Model B styled by Pininfarina

Foxtron Model B styled by Pininfarina

Summary
A New Breed of Automobile Manufacturer is On the Way
Article Name
A New Breed of Automobile Manufacturer is On the Way
Description
The transition of the automobile industry to electric vehicles creates the opportunity for new players to get into the automobile business.
Author

Comments

  1. Wayne Watkins says

    Looks like in the future we will all be driving smart phones or microwaves on wheels . No more smell of Castrol at race car meetings , sadly .

  2. That can only mean more competition which should lead to lower EV prices.

  3. History shows that the majority of the time the businesses that control the market maintain the market. Look at LED watches after a few years Timex , Bulova and the rest of the regular players controlled the market. In the end EV’s are still just cars .

  4. Glenn Krasner says

    Mike,
    Another player is Vinfast, a Vietnamese company that is buiding a $2 billion plant and HQ in North Carolina. They have an odd business model, where you buy the car, but lease the battery pack. When my girlfriend and I attended the New York International Auto Show last April, they had a huge pavillion reserved, with only about three or four cars on it. In addition, when I tried talking to their PR people, they were quite rude, not a good start for US sales, as opposed to Ford, which was offering us deals to buy the Ford Maverick compact pick-up truck right on the spot! The only reason I had wanted to talk to them was because the show was the first contact I had with the Vinfast brand – I had never heard of them before. It will be interesting to see how the EV shakeout of companies plays out – right now, it’s the Wild West. At one time, there were about 2000 different US auto manufacturers, and that dwindled down to about 3 at one point. Thanks again for another great article.
    Glenn in Brooklyn, NY.

  5. Robert Feldman says

    Having been an active participant in the automobile business every day for the past 40+ years, I continue to notice the same trends every time new technology gets sold to the public. We get sold on the smells of the sizzling steak on the grille, but never get a good look at what’s going on in the kitchen.
    In this case, car and truck companies are busy promoting new electric vehicles, but I do not see anyone having in depth conversations about how the power is going to be generated and distributed to end users. I don’t mean just homeowners, how about major fleets with large numbers of trucks and tractors where they need to be charged in short time. And what about the supply of rare earth minerals necessary to create batteries? Are we going to be strip mining the earth and using slave labor to build batteries in China? Some of the largest deposits of these minerals are in the mountains of Afganistan that we walked away from. And what is the plan 10-20 years from now to recycle the large quantities of end of life batteries? Too many unanswered questions!

  6. wallace wyss says

    Kind of reminds you of most European countries souring on atomic energy except France with has at least a dozen atomic plants. So now winter is coming n and Germany might not have en9ugh electricity unless they fire up coal fired plants or find a new source for gas fired plants now that Russia has cut them off. So the eco-warriors/Greenies steered Europe into a course that will end up with Europe (except for France) succumbing to Russia because you can’t create new atomic energy plants that fast. Oh the Greens will talk about solar and wind energy but what happens when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine (that’s called “night”)

    • Glenn Krasner says

      Wallace,
      Look at this week’s issue of the “Economist” (October 15th to 21st) with respect to France’s nuclear energy program. Their article, “French Nuclear Energy – OUT OF ORDER”, states that for the first time in many years France will be a net importer of electricity, instead of a net exporter. This is because half of the country’s 56 nuclear reactors are 40 years old, and require extensive preventive maintenance at this point, and as a result, by this September, of the 56, 25 were out of service. So, France has now officially joined the European countries that are electricity poor, albeit temporarily, until their nuclear reactors come back online. Glenn in Brooklyn, NY.

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