Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Taiwan’s electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry [2354:TT], more commonly known as “Foxconn,” will set up a joint venture called Ceer to produce electric vehicles (EV), as reported by Reuters on November 4. The joint venture will license component technology from German automaker BMW [BMW:GR] and is looking to attract USD150m in foreign direct investment. Foxconn will design and manufacture a range of Ceer models, including sedans and sport utility vehicles in Saudi Arabia for buyers in the Middle Eastern region. The first Ceer EV will be available in 2025.
Foxconn is known as one of Apple’s [AAPL:US] largest and longest-term suppliers. The company has been building a complete EV supply chain to diversify its product line from iPhone and MacBook assembly business. As Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s largest oil exporters, its sovereign wealth fund’s partnership with Foxconn is a step forward to the country’s plan to develop a domestic automotive industry to diversify the economy and reduce the dependence on oil revenue. Ceer, the first EV brand in Saudi Arabia, will also help the country establish a low-carbon automobile industry. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia and Foxconn were also in talks to build a USD9m facility to manufacture microchips, EV components, and other electronics.