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Foxconn said to have partnered with Cowin in ‘affordable’ smart car project

Wed 22 Apr 2015

Foxconn and Chinese car maker Cowin have settled a partnership which would see the two companies co-create a smart car to rival domestic and Western counterparts, according to Chinese reports [Chinese].

The partnership has not yet been officially announced by either parties, but China’s Herald suggests that a statement should be issued to confirm the agreement soon.

Chery Auto-owned Cowin has focused specifically on designing affordable connected cars for a younger Chinese market with three models currently on the market. The vehicles feature dashboard touchscreens and smartphone connectivity aimed directly at consumers in their 20s to early 30s. However, as the Guangzhou-based Herald reports, Cowin had approached Foxconn in the hope that the tech giant could help better target this demographic by lending its screen technology expertise.

“Foxconn is an Apple supplier, and they’re leaders in screen technology,” a source at Cowin told the Chinese daily.

The report continues to suggest that the jointly-produced smart car would include a completely virtual HD dashboard. It would also offer virtual games and other screen-based features such as handprint recognition to unlock and start the vehicle.

Cowin’s CEO publicly addressed internet and technology companies last year across Weibo asking for collaboration opportunities. According to the Cowin source, big tech groups such as Xiaomi and Baidu had been in discussions with the car manufacturer. It is thought that these talks continue as Cowin looks for partner firms to contribute software while Foxconn focuses on the car’s hardware.

Foxconn has already partnered with Tencent and luxury car dealer China Harmony on a smart car project. While other Chinese-based tech firms Alibaba, Baidu and LeTV have also announced that they are developing their own connected cars alongside automakers.

However Cowin believes that its affordability will win over the competition in its target market and hopes that Foxconn’s size and reputation for producing high-quality products at low cost will help drive this mission.


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