With Fisker, Apple supplier Foxconn will build the world’s first electric vehicle.

TAIPEI, Taiwan — After striking an early-stage deal with Fisker, an American electric-vehicle startup, Apple supplier Foxconn plans to produce cars in the United States by 2023.

On Wednesday, Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, announced a memorandum of understanding with Fisker, a New York-listed electric vehicle maker, to codevelop an EV model with mass production scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2023.

The strategy reveals how the Taiwanese conglomerate, which is the world’s largest contract electronics maker, is attempting to become a major EV player in order to expand beyond smartphones.

“The American market will be the first target,” a source close to Foxconn told Nikkei Asia. “Foxconn is considering a proposal to develop the car in its Wisconsin complex for the American market.”

According to the company announcement, the car will be designed under the Fisker brand and sold in North America, Europe, China, and India.

“Because of our companies’ cooperation, the next Fisker car will be manufactured in just 24 months, from research and development to production, cutting in half the time it takes to bring a new vehicle to market,” says the company.

Foxconn had announced plans for an open software and hardware platform, called MIH, and Liu last week said the first two to three electric vehicles built using the platform will be released by the end of this year, a breakthrough for the Taiwanese company’s EV efforts.

But Liu also stressed Foxconn’s capability as a software and hardware open platform operator, rather than showing an interest in assembling cars.

The planned collaboration with Fisker — dubbed Project Pear — will mainly be the California-based company’s design and it is yet to be decided if it will use part of Foxconn’s platform.

Foxconn has been aggressively venturing into EV fields since last year, seeking new revenue sources to counter the slowing smartphone industry.

Its customizable platform — which includes a chassis, electronic architecture and support for autonomous driving — is designed to make it quicker and easier for automakers to turn out new electric cars. Foxconn has been inviting suppliers across a range of industries to join an MIH-based alliance and says it has attracted more than 700 companies, including Qualcomm, MediaTek, Arm, AWS and STMicroelectronics.

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