Tamil Nadu, India

Even if Foxconn quadruples its original Tamil Nadu mobile phone plant’s workforce, it still won’t be as big as the company’s 200,000-plus-worker plant in Zhengzhou, China.

Photo courtesy of the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone

The Deccan Herald reported yesterday that Foxconn Technology Group subsidiary Foxconn Industrial Internet (FII) would make this 6,000 job investment in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu, near Chennai, to produce electronic components for mobile phones. “This new facility will be independent of Foxconn’s units in Sriperumbudur that currently assemble flagship Apple iPhones for the domestic and international markets,” the paper said of another large and expanding plant in the Chennai region that employs around 40,000 people (according to company officials cited by Reuters). “Foxconn has plans to quadruple the workforce at its Tamil Nadu iPhone factory by late 2024 to spread its bets beyond China,” the Reuters report noted. The new project also is separate from the announcement made by FII just weeks ago to set up a $1 billion manufacturing site in Tumakuru, Karnataka, not far from Bengaluru. Earlier in July, Foxconn announced it was withdrawing from a $19 billion semiconductor JV with Indian conglomerate Vedanta to build a semiconductor and display production plant in India.



Elko New Market, Minnesota

Photo courtesy of Niagara Bottling

This bottled water plant proposed last fall by Niagara Bottling was approved in June by the Elko New Market city council despite vocal opposition. Elko New Market is located just souh of the Twin Cities. According to published reports, the project’s fate now rests with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, which would issue the facility’s permit. The department earlier this year turned aside a petition to require the facility to undergo an environmental review, citing a lack of evidence it would strain the aquifer. A page on the city’s website offers details on every aspect of the project, which is to be located in the Park I-35 Industrial Park being developed by Ryan Companies on 120 acres first identified by Scott County leaders in 2012 as a potential economic development corridor. “The City was informed that Elko New Market was Niagara’s preferred location for a facility in June of 2022,” the city website states, after the city had responded to a lead sent out by Greater MSP in November 2021. “Niagara evaluated several sites in multiple states before selecting Elko New Market.” The first tenant in the industrial park is expected to create property tax revenue in excess of $175,000 annually, which diversifies the predominantly residential tax base in this community of 5,000 (planned to one day reach 70,000). Niagara operates more than 30 plants in North America, the UK and Australia. In a nod to the late musician Prince, the name of the Niagara Bottling affiliate that is purchasing 28 acres from Ryan Companies is Purple Rain Properties, LLC.



Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Concurrent with the announcement of expansion into Malaysia, Chery launched the sale of its internal combustion TIGGO 8 PRO and OMODA 5 models in the country.

Rendering courtesy of Chery

Chinese carmaker Chery in early July announced it would establish its Regional Hub for Right-Hand Drive (RHD) Vehicles for Southeast Asia and Oceania in Greater Kuala Lumpur (GKL). Datuk Muhammad Azmi Zulkifli, CEO of InvestKL said the expansion testifies to “the value of GKL as thinking epicenter underpinned by a rich ecosystem of skilled workforce, state-of-the-art facilities, and positive development for innovation. Our progressive policies are set to bolster the EV industry and reflect Malaysia’s commitment to aligning with global trends of sustainability while enhancing our competitiveness as a nation.” Concurrent with the announcement, Chery launched the sale of its internal combustion TIGGO 8 PRO and OMODA 5 models in the country. EV models will be launched in 2024. Over 20 years Chery has established five major global R&D centers and an R&D team of over 7,000 people and built 10 major factories and 1,500 overseas service outlets worldwide. Its global sales have exceeded 11.3 million vehicles, with over 2.4 million overseas customers. Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Malaysia Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz noted that the ASEAN EV market is projected to grow by 33% annually to $2.7 billion by 2027. “Mass electrification from the automotive sector fits in well with our national ESG and net zero agenda from the manufacturing industry’s perspective,” he said. “To that end, the introduction of Chery’s new electric vehicles (EVs) models will support Malaysia’s efforts to decarbonize our economy, and will contribute to the growth of the EV market in Malaysia.”