By Debby Wu

  • Taiwanese company joins forces with Chinese carmaker Geely
  • Venture to offer production, advisory services to automakers

Apple Inc.’s Taiwanese manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology Group is setting up a car venture, strengthening its automotive capabilities at a time when technology companies including its California ally are looking to expand in vehicles.

Foxconn is joining forces with Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.to provide production and consulting services to global automotive enterprises, according to a statement from the companies Wednesday.

Amid reports of Apple considering making its own electric vehicles, Foxconn has been bulking up its automotive muscles swiftly. Such moves may help the company become a major contender to make cars for its largest customer.

Apple has continued to investigate building its self-driving car system for a third-party auto partner rather than its own vehicle, the people familiar have said, and the company could ultimately abandon its own car efforts in favor of this approach.

Other technology companies seeking to expand into the autonomous driving space have also sought partnerships. Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving unit Waymo has worked with Chrysler, while Amazon.com Inc. has tapped Rivian Automotive Inc. for cooperation over delivery vans.

This week, billionaire Li Shufu’s Geely struck a pact with search-engine giant Baidu Inc.to set up a venture to make intelligent electric vehicles.

Li, who is also Daimler’s largest shareholder, has championed partnerships and consolidation as a way for automakers to pool resources for initiatives like self-driving cars and electrification. He’s built a global carmaking empire over the past two decades, securing stakes in European legacy brands such as Lotus as well as investing in Malaysian auto company Proton.

— With assistance by Ying Tian

Via Bloomberg.com

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