Jack Cheng, the CEO of the Foxconn-initiated MIH Alliance, outlined the trends and challenges in the EV industry and gave further details of MIH’s strategy during a conference commemorating the third anniversary of Foxconn Industrial Internet’s IPO.
He observed that two loose camps had emerged as traditional industry players entered the EV market. The first camp opted to form joint ventures (JVs) among themselves. For example, the Chinese automaker SAIC has formed JVs with General Motors and Volkswagen. Another Chinese automaker, Changan Automobile Group, has partnered with Ford. Similarly, Toyota has also formed a JV with FAW Group, a Chinese automaker based in northeastern China. The second camp, Cheng observed, opted to cooperate with the tech industry. For instance, both Ford and Volkswagen have partnered with Argo AI, an American startup focused on autonomous driving technology. BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz have also cooperated with Chinese tech giants like Tencent, Alibaba and Huawei.
Currently, according to Cheng, Europe and China have been the fastest in EV development, especially in China, where its tech giants have all released their respective operating systems geared for automotive IOT, such as Huawei’s Harmony OS, Baidu’s Apollo platform and Tencent’s Auto Intelligence.
With so many newly emergent players in the EV market, however, Cheng noted that 70% of EV startups had been struggling. MIH was born to address the issue, and Cheng outlined the different ways that MIH could operate as a solutions provider instead of a mere provider of components. In one approach, MIH could pursue a 100% white label manufacturing strategy, with the groundwork laid by its EV developer tool, EV Kit. In another approach, MIH could merely provide rolling chassis to automakers in the developing countries, who would in turn build on them.
Finally, Cheng identified another major challenge faced by the EV industry: instead of having 20-30 ECUs on a car, the industry has been seeking to integrate various functions onto one chip, in order to reduce the total number of chips required.