FCA and Foxconn to build electric car for China

Looks like the management at Fiat Chrysler are ready to start producing a ‘smart’ electric vehicle with this announcement on the 17th of January 2020. Taiwanese technology company Foxconn is the manufacturer of Apple’s iPhone in China and with this collaboration with FCA, they will be in charge of the electronics and software of the new joint venture electric car and FCA will handle the production of the new electric car.

As the statement mentions, this new joint venture electric car is just for China domestic market and not for the rest of the world. This however might change in time. China at the moment has the biggest electric vehicle infrastructure and consumer demand and this is due to favorable Chinese government policies and subsidies. China has become the biggest market for electric vehicles in the world and in 2019 demand was good despite a slowdown in the country’s overall automotive market. Electric vehicle sales increased by 6 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, despite the overall car sales dropping by 8 percent.

Fiat full electric vehicle

The press release also mentions how Foxconn will work on ‘Internet of Vehicle’, or IoV business.

So what is IoV. Well, a quick search online reveals that IoV allows vehicles to exchange information, efficiency and most importantly safety with others as well as with infrastructures using Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks (VANETs), which originated from MANET or Mobile Ad-hoc Network.

IoV is the evolution of that conventional VANET, which refers to the network of different entities, such as vehicles, pedestrians, roads, parking lots and city infrastructure and provides real-time communication among them.

The electronics used for that include infotainment systems, sensors, brakes, and GPS. There’s a clear need for better communication and interconnectivity between vehicles. As they’re turning into smart entities, cars are becoming an essential part of smart cities.

The IoV makes car sensor platforms, which absorb information from the environment, other vehicles and from the driver. All this for safer navigation, traffic management, and pollution control.

PRESS RELEASE: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (MTA: FCA / NYSE: FCAU, “FCA”) confirmed today that it is in discussions with Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co., Ltd. (Foxconn) regarding the potential creation of an equal joint venture to develop and manufacture in China new generation battery electric vehicles and engage in the IoV (Internet of Vehicles) business.

The proposed cooperation, initially focused on the Chinese market, would enable the parties to bring together the capabilities of two established global leaders across the spectrum of automobile design, engineering and manufacturing and mobile software technology to focus on the growing battery electric vehicle market. The parties are in the process of signing a preliminary agreement which will govern further discussions aimed at reaching final binding agreements in the next few months. There is however no assurance that final binding agreements will be reached or will be reached in that timeframe.

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