Saudi Arabia to Build Its First EV Under Joint Venture with Foxconn

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced on Thursday it will build electric vehicles (EVs) under a joint venture (JV) with Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn as part of an effort to diversify its economy away from oil and develop new industries. The first Saudi automotive brand, called “Ceer”, will design, manufacture and sell a range of vehicles for consumers in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, PIF said in a statement.

PIF said the first vehicles will be available in 2025, and it expects Ceer would draw more than $150 million in foreign direct investment, contributing an estimated $8 billion to the kingdom’s economy by 2034.

The JV “will license component technology from BMW for use in the vehicle development process,” PIF said in its 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.

Saudi Arabia’s investment strategy announced last year aims for more than $100 billion in FDI annually, which the kingdom still lags behind, with just over $4 billion inflows in the first half this year.

Lucid Group, which is more than 60% owned by PIF, is building an electric vehicle assembly plant in Jeddah with an eventual capacity to manufacture 150,000 vehicles a year. The Saudi government signed a deal with Lucid to buy up to 100,000 of its cars over the next 10 years.

The kingdom has also been scrambling to develop its mining industry. It said in May that it would build an EV 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 said.

“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.

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