Foxconn Confirms Plans to Expand to North America

Louis Woo, a spokesman for Foxconn Technology Group, confirmed to Bloomberg in a phone interview that the company is looking to expand its operations in North America. The news arrives after a previous report in November claiming that Foxconn was bringing U.S. engineers to Asia for training before sending them back to the States. Sources said American factories would focus on LCD TV production instead of Apple hardware.

Woo acknowledged to Bloomberg that Americans simply want more of their products manufactured locally. While that is indeed true, Americans also want reassurance that local workers have jobs, and that business isn't being farmed out to cheaper labor overseas.

The drawback to establishing local factories, according to Woo, is that the supply chain itself will present a challenge. "In addition, any manufacturing we take back to the U.S. needs to leverage high-value engineering talent there in comparison to the low-cost labor of China," Woo added.

Foxconn chairman Terry Guo reportedly said at a recent public event that the company is planning to launch a training program for US-based engineers. These "students" will be brought to Taiwan or China and taught how to communicate in Chinese and given first-hand experience in the manufacturing process. They won't remain overseas indefinitely – Guo said they'll return to the States with "training that can be helpful".

As of November, Foxconn was reportedly in talks with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for recruiting engineers.

Despite rumors that Foxconn will only manufacture LCD TVs here in the States, will the company help Apple manufacture iMacs next year? Apple CEO Tim Cook recently revealed the company's plans to manufacture one of the existing Mac lines here in the States in 2013, a revelation that doesn't seem coincidental when compared to the new Foxconn report.

Cook pointed out that several Apple components are already locally manufactured including the Corning Gorilla Glass protecting touchscreens, and the Apple SoCs serving as the brains of its popular mobile devices. But completed, ready-to-sell devices haven't been made or assembled here in the States since 1994 when the company left its Elk Grove and Fremont, Calif., facilities and switched over to Chinese manufacturing.

Is Apple finally finally bringing work home thanks to Foxconn?

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  • thillntn
    Come on in, but don't forget the safety nets!
  • Azn Cracker
    Yay more low paying jobs!
  • Mathos
    Depends on where they go. If they go to Flint, or Detroit Michigan they could simply buy one of the many mothballed factories and refit it for their needs instead of needing to build new. Plus god only knows, if we start reviving the economy their it'd help the rest of the country. You have to remember, a vast part of our economies backbone use to be in those two cities. Once Flint and Detroit fell, it brought the rest of the country down in a cascade. Most people don't realize the housing bubble collapse started there, about 1 year after the big 3 laid off about 1.8m people total, in those areas.
  • igot1forya
    I envision the robot manufacturing plant in iRobot, not a single human in the whole building. That is pretty much the only way to manufacture in the US cheaply... unless they hire children like they do in China.
  • omnimodis78
    How utterly ironic! If you look at any electronic device from the 70s and 80s (and somewhat into the 90s), you'll basically see nearly all components (chips, transistors, boards, etc.) manufactured in Western countries. Seeing "USA", "Canada", "Germany" printed on highly advanced (for its time) components was more common than not. My friend who worked in IT in Beijing in the late 90s and early 2000s tells me that his company made it a point to track down parts that had Canadian made parts (there were a lot more than most Americans care to realize by the way), and Chinese made parts were out of the question as they were all bad investments (this was a Chinese investment firm - 3rd biggest in China at that time). U.S. engineers were THE engineers to kick off the electronic revolution - and to this day they are at the forefront of R&D. The only thing going for these Chinese companies is slave-labour and non-existant labour laws. Remove those, and ALL jobs will migrate back to the West.
  • eternalkp
    $999 iphone 6 16gb
  • ethanolson
    I don't think people, even the news reporter, recognize that Foxconn already has operations here in the U.S. I'm not opposed to them expanding. They're already in Texas and... shoot... where's the other place. Anyway, they're here. I like @Mathos' idea of them picking up in MI. It'll put them close to A123 batteries, another stateside Chinese-owned operation that needs some help.
  • keczapifrytki
    This reminds me of "The Campaign" where they wanted to sell some land to China so they could use Chinese labor with chines rates but in the States.
  • keczapifrytki
    thillntnCome on in, but don't forget the safety nets!
    Do you think the people who make the nets also commit suicide because of the horrible labor conditions? I wonder....
  • psychotek71
    i want my suicide nets to overclock and do they play crisis