Foxconn to make electric SUVs with Byton

BEIJING (Reuters) - Cash-strapped Chinese startup Byton, Apple assembler Foxconn and the Nanjing Economic and Technological Development Zone have agreed to start building electric sport-utility vehicles in 2022, according to a statement on Monday.

Young Liu, chairman of Foxconn said in the statement that the partnership with Byton will be a key part in Foxconn's strategy in electric vehicle (EV) industry.

The company last year announced plans to set up a joint venture with Fiat Chrysler to build electric cars and develop internet-connected vehicles in China. It has not made major announcement on the partnership since then.

Foxconn said in October it aimed to provide components or services to 10% of the world's EVs by between 2025 and 2027.

Byton, which is backed by state-owned automaker FAW Group and battery supplier Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd, was building a car factory in the eastern city of Nanjing before it suspended production from July to conduct a reorganisation of the firm.

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Byton was launched in September 2017 by Future Mobility Corp, a company co-founded by former BMW and Nissan Motor executives, and also has software and design facilities in the United States and Germany.

Bloomberg reported earlier on Monday that Foxconn's listed company Hon Hai Precision Industry Co plans to invest $200 million in Byton, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter. Byton declined to comment on the investment.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Andrew Heavens and David Evans)

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