The year 2021 starts by answering questions left unanswered by 2020. Which will be Foxconn’s first client in the electric car manufacturing business? Will Byton ever manage to produce the M-Byte after the difficulties it had last year? It seems one reply fits all questions, in this case: Byton will be Foxconn’s first customer to get the M-Byte into production lines, according to Bloomberg.
Sources close to these companies have told the media company that the deal will be announced soon. Sadly, these sources have not clarified if the M-Byte will be the first car to present the MIH Open Platform developed by Foxconn or if the deal consists of something else. Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai, would put $200 million in the deal.
Both companies would seize the Nanjing Economic and Technological Development Zone to start manufacturing the Byton M-Byte by the first quarter of 2022. According to Bloomberg, Hon Hai would “supply Byton with its advanced manufacturing technology, operation management expertise, and supply chain resources.”
While the “advanced manufacturing technology” could involve the open-source electric platform, that is not necessarily the case. What does this $200 million investment from Foxconn involve? Is it to create a car plant in Nanjing and supply Byton with the production of the vehicle? Is it to be a Byton shareholder and allow that company to produce its own car? If 2021 answered some questions, it is already posing some more.
Only the companies involved will be able to reply to these questions and a lot more which will certainly emerge until 2022. For the time being, what Bloomberg also said is that Byton is just the first of Hon Hai’s automotive clients. It would already be talking to other Chinese EV makers, and 2021 will tell us which they are. We just hope it also reveals its plans for the MIH Open Platform in its first months. What about January, 2021?