Jeep Maker Stellantis Joins Forces With Foxconn to Develop In-Car Software
By Nick Kostov
Jeep and Chrysler maker Stellantis NV is teaming up with iPhone
assembler Foxconn Technology Group in a new collaboration aimed at
accelerating the development of in-car software.
The world's third-largest car company by sales said Tuesday that
the 50-50 joint venture, dubbed Mobile Drive, would focus on
technology used in vehicle dashboard systems and other connected
The companies said the JV, which will be based in the
Netherlands and sell its software to other car makers, would
combine Stellantis's expertise in vehicle design and engineering
with Foxconn's know-how in software and consumer electronics.
The move comes as auto makers are racing to compete with
Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Apple Inc. and other Silicon Valley giants
for control of the dashboard display and other connected car
features. Many car makers are betting that future growth and
profits could come less from building and selling cars and more
from features like connected car services and apps, a business
model that is closer to the tech industry.
Stellantis Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said the JV with
Foxconn would enable "the swift development of connectivity
features and services that mark the next great evolution of our
industry, just as electrification technology has."
The companies didn't disclose how much they planned to invest in
the JV but said it would have 250 engineers, mostly based in
Not all such arrangements pan out as intended. For example,
Foxconn last year said it planned to establish a joint venture with
Stellantis predecessor Fiat Chrysler to develop and produce
electric vehicles, but the deal hasn't yet been finalized.
A Stellantis spokeswoman said discussions on the electric
vehicles partnership were ongoing.
Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., has
been pushing into the auto industry as part of an effort to
diversify its business beyond what it is best known for --
assembling iPhones. The contract electronics company has announced
a slew of tie-ups with both nascent and traditional car makers to
collaborate on development and manufacturing.
Earlier this year, Foxconn said it would assemble cars for
electric-vehicle startup Fisker Inc., its first agreement to
manufacture vehicles for an automotive company. The Taiwan-based
company has also formed partnerships with China-based
electric-vehicle companies Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Byton,
and launched a platform called MIH that offers manufacturers a
customizable framework for building electric and self-driving
For Stellantis, the Foxconn deal is one of Mr. Tavares's first
big moves since taking the helm of the company, forged in January
by the combination of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot-maker PSA
Mr. Tavares has pledged to unveil a long-term strategic plan by
the end of the year and told reporters on Tuesday that the deal
with Foxconn was one step in that process. In recent weeks, he has
also said he would give his top executives a 10-year timeline to
prove each of the company's 14 brands are worth keeping and that he
has been working on a new approach to China, where both Fiat
Chrysler and PSA struggled in recent years.
--Stephanie Yang contributed to this article.
Write to Nick Kostov at Nick.Kostov@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 18, 2021 09:01 ET (13:01 GMT)
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