Foxconn plans to build autonomous E-tractors at the Ohio facility

Taiwanese multinational contract electronics manufacturer, Foxconn has recently announced its plans to manufacture driverless electric tractors for Monarch Tractor, a California-based electric, driver optional tractor manufacturer, at its Lordstown, Ohio facility, beginning from 2023.

The news comes amid heavy machinery manufacturers, including Georgia-based AGCO and Deere & Co, placing their sights on the electric vehicle marketplace considering the U.S. agriculture industry shift to smart farming.

For the record, this deal with Monarch Tractor is the first manufacturing contract that Foxconn, the leading assembler for iPhone, signed since acquiring the Ohio facility that was a General Motors Assembly plant last year. As per the company, the production of Monarch's battery-driven MK-V series tractor is planned to commence in the Q1 of 2023.

For the uninitiated, Silicon-Valley-based Monarch Tractor debuted an autonomous electric tractor, its first pilot series, to a designated group of farmers last year.

Following this, the firm has inked a multi-year licensing pact with CNH Industrial, a British-Italian American vehicle manufacturer.

Notably, CNH Industrial also holds a minor stake in Monarch Tractor.

Monarch Tractor's Chief Executive, Praveen Penmetsa, stated that the company's business plan to target smaller farmers will offer it a unique opportunity to raise the market share while being in the exact symmetry with significant manufacturers.

Praveen shed light on the brewing competition among farm equipment makers to proliferate product lines in precision agriculture technology and autonomous machinery.

Penmetsa further added that the competitors' technology is grounded, with tremendous focus on farm operations and commodity crops.

It has also been disclosed that fruits and vegetable farmers generally use small tractors, which Monarch prioritizes, differentiating the firm from the others.

Upon being quizzed about the cost of the tractor, the company refrained from divulging the details. However, it said that the autonomous software would be sold separately, and the farmers would be responsible for paying a monthly fee for accessing the services.

sSource Credit - https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/foxconn-build-autonomous-electric-tractors-ohio-facility-2022-08-09/