Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group are moving ahead with plans to produce electric cars in the Middle Eastern country, a push that could help accelerate efforts by the oil-dependent kingdom to diversify its economy
The pair will set up a joint venture called Ceer that will license component technology from Germany’sBMW AGand design and build vehicles including sedans and sport utility vehicles in Saudi Arabia for buyers in the region. First models are scheduled to be available in 2025, according to a statement from the PIF, as the wealth fund is known.
The Ceer venture will bring in over $150 million of foreign directinvestmentand create as many as 30,000 jobs, according to the statement.
Ceer “is the first Saudi automotive brand to produce electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia, and will design, manufacture and sell a range of vehicles for consumers in Saudi Arabia and the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, including sedans and sports utility vehicles,” PIF said in a statement.
The joint venture “will license component technology from BMW for use in the vehicle development process,” PIF said in a statement.
“Foxconn will develop the electrical architecture of the vehicles, resulting in a portfolio of products that will lead in the areas of infotainment, connectivity and autonomous driving technologies,” it added.
The kingdom is also making a push into mining and said in May that it would build an electric vehicle battery metals plant.
“We will leverage Foxconn’s technological expertise to support Ceer’s vision of creating a range of iconic electric vehicles that are built around the themes of connectivity, infotainment and autonomy,” Foxconn Chairman Young Liu said, according to PIF’s statement.
“We want to make electric vehicles mainstream, and that is what Ceer is going to achieve in Saudi Arabia and the wider region,” he added.
PIF did not disclose funding details and did not say how much a Ceer plant would cost or where in the kingdom it would be built. A PIF spokesman could not be reached for further comment.
The Wall Street Journal reported in March that Saudi Arabia and Foxconn were in talks to jointly build a $9 billion facility that could make microchips, electric-vehicle components and other electronics in NEOM, a futuristic $500 billion city being built in Saudi Arabia’s desert.
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