People prefer reading short texts more and more these days. They have even coined an expression for that: TL,DR, or Too Long, Didn’t Read. This may have been the case if you saw why everyone should take Foxconn’s plans to sell an electric car platform seriously. That article contains all the reasons for that, which made it long. Some may have missed crucial aspects of the whole thing, such as Foxconn – also known as Hon Hai – using mega castings.
If you already read that first text, this one will become just a reminder. Feel free to skip it if you already have the whole picture.
The first person to bring that up at the Hon Hai Tech Day (HHTD) 2020 was Zuo Zisheng. Hon Hai introduced its vice president as an engineer with over 35 years of experience in the automotive industry.
In his presentation, he mentioned that the company was able to reduce 7 parts for the front suspension body to a single one for the MIH Open Platform. That part is the strut tower, as the image above shows. He also said the new open-source electric architecture had made 27 rear longitudinal rail components become only one part.
It was Jerry Hsiao (Xiao Caiyou) – Hon Hai’s Chief Product Officer (CPO) – who clarified what the strategy to get there was. Just like Tesla, Foxconn has a massive die-cast machine that currently produces BMW battery cases. It deals with a 4,200-ton clamping force, while Tesla currently uses a 5,500-ton IDRA die-cast machine.
That’s not the only similarity the Taiwanese company presented to its American competitor. Hsiao said Foxconn works with a special alloy with high ductility, corrosion resistance, excellent cast formability, high strength, and no need for heat treatment.
If you remember Elon Musk’s presentation at the Tesla Battery Day, he has highlighted the same aspects for Tesla’s alloy, which means another company also achieved that. The question now is which automaker Foxconn will help with these improvements.