Days after Foxconn’s Louis Woo told Reuters that the company is no longer planning to build a factory in Wisconsin, Foxconn says the factory plan is back on.
“After productive discussions between the White House and the company, and after a personal conversation between President Donald J. Trump and Chairman Terry Gou, Foxconn is moving forward with our planned construction of a Gen 6 fab facility,” a statement read. A Gen 6 facility is smaller than the factory Foxconn initially promised in 2017, but larger than the assembly facility Foxconn said it would build yesterday.
Foxconn has changed its plans multiple times since 2017, when then-Governor Scott Walker wooed the company with a record-breaking $4.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies. At the time, Foxconn promised a state-of-the-art, “Gen 10.5” screen-producing facility, and Walker and Trump touted the deal for bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US. In June of last year, however, the company said it would make a far smaller “Gen 6” facility. This week, the company said it wouldn’t make screens in Wisconsin at all, and would instead do a mix of assembly and “knowledge work.” The sudden change in plans seemed to catch Wisconsin officials off guard, and left locals worried about the future of their communities.
Yesterday, the company told The Verge that the market has changed since the Wisconsin project was first announced, but that the company remains committed to the technology park project and meeting its original target of creating 13,000 jobs. Regarding what people would do at the park, the company emphasized research into its “AI 8K + 5G ecosystem.” It also listed several projects that would begin in the next 18 months, including a research and development center and an assembly facility.
Today’s statement saying that the Gen 6 factory will be built after all does not contain a timeline or any further details.
Foxconn’s full statement is below:
After productive discussions between the White House and the company, and after a personal conversation between President Donald J. Trump and Chairman Terry Gou, Foxconn is moving forward with our planned construction of a Gen 6 fab facility, which will be at the heart of the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park. This campus will serve both as an advanced manufacturing facility as well as a hub of high technology innovation for the region.
Our decision is also based on a recent comprehensive and systematic evaluation to help determine the best fit for our Wisconsin project among TFT technologies. We have undertaken the evaluation while simultaneously seeking to broaden our investment across Wisconsin far beyond our original plans to ensure the company, our workforce, the local community, and the state of Wisconsin will be positioned for long-term success.
We look forward to continuing to expand our investment in American talent in Wisconsin and the US.