MOUNT PLEASANT — Wisconsinites who are curious about the Foxconn development will be able to get their first virtual look inside the company’s massive globe Thursday in Racine County.
While the tech giant has yet to say what it will produce or manufacture in Mount Pleasant, Foxconn says it plans to announce by July 1 whether its Racine County site will be used to assemble hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles. Foxconn’s chairman said in March that those cars will either be built in the U.S. or Mexico.
The giant sphere that sits on Foxconn’s Mount Pleasant campus is set to host its first large private meeting on June 3 as the Racine County Economic Development Corporation uses it to tout business growth in the community.
"Having it at the globe is a great backdrop for that, but really it's on our accomplishments as a community to be able to help our businesses weather the storm,” said RCEDC’s deputy director Laura Million.
Although the meeting isn’t necessarily about Foxconn, Million knows the community has plenty of questions about what the world’s largest electronics manufacturer has in store for its Wisconsin site, and whether it will be chosen to manufacture 250,000 electric cars a year for a company called Fisker.
"We're excited to be able to see innovation happen at the campus, whether that's with Fisker or some other partner that Foxconn brings in,” Million said.
When Foxconn struck the deal with the state in 2017, the company announced plans to build a massive facility to create large TV screens, but a short time later, the project was scaled back to build smaller screens.
As we come out of the pandemic, the company agreed to a significantly downsized incentives package with Wisconsin. It means the company will no longer create 13,000 but rather an estimated 1,454.
Milwaukee Business Journal reporter Sean Ryan has been following the Foxconn-Fisker partnership.
"The most recent we had heard was the report to the Mount Pleasant Village Board by their project director that's been working with Foxconn. He said, of course, they'd like it to go there and it's a prospect, but they don't know whether or not that will happen,” Ryan said.
Wisconsin is not known for its automotive industry, but Ryan says current facilities in place, the potential workforce and the regional supply chain will play a factor in the decision.
"They know what kind of money would be available to them if they invest there and they also have a cooperative local government, they have the land already kind of graded to some extent with the utilities ready for buildings, and buildings that frankly are ready to host the manufacturing operations that aren't currently,” he said.
Foxconn is set to start production on Fisker vehicles in late 2023. The company’s chairman says they will decide where to build those cars based on business, and not politics.