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Hon Hai promises electric cars priced under US$15,000

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海), a Taiwanese assembler of Apple Inc.'s iPhones and iPads, said Wednesday it is planning to make electric cars priced with an extremely affordable price tag — under US$15,000.

“The electric cars made by us will be very affordable,” said Terry Gou (郭台銘), chairman of the world's largest contract electronics maker, in response to a question during an annual shareholders' meeting.

Unlike current models that run as much as NT$2 million (US$66,800), most of the electric cars developed by Hon Hai will be priced under US$15,000, Gou said. He declined to give details on the cars or indicate when they may be launched.

Asked by the same shareholder about Hon Hai's reported cooperation with U.S. electric car pioneer Tesla Motors Inc., Gou said he would not comment on any single client, adding only that Tesla is a good company and can help Hon Hai understand future trends in the car industry.

“The development of new-energy vehicles is just beginning,” he noted. “When integrated with cloud computing, the Internet, smart traffic and smart cities in the future, people will be able to drive more easily and reduce car accidents more efficiently.”

“This kind of technology is due in the next 10 to 20 years, and our company will make huge investments in it,” Gou said.

Hon Hai, often referred to by its trade name of Foxconn Technology Group, is seeking to transform itself into a technology services company to meet consumer demand and generate business growth in the coming years.

In its annual report to shareholders, Hon Hai said it is evolving from its existing “Integration-Innovation-Design-Manufacturing” base into cloud services, wireless 4G-LTE networking services and the e-commerce sector.

By the time the fifth generation (5G) of telecommunications rolls around, the company will shift its focus to developing automation and artificial intelligence and combining hardware and software applications to improve human life, the annual report said.

Hon Hai shares fell 1.73 percent to close at NT$96.50 Wednesday in Taipei trading.

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