By John Biggs
In one of the oddest cases of an April Fool’s joke coming true, Digitimes is reporting that Foxconn (OTC:FXCOF) is looking at opening LCD TV plants in L.A. or Detroit. These plants will focus on automated production lines and build mostly LCD TVs, as too much handwork is required to assemble more complex mobile electronics.
The company is also rumored to be working on a sort of engineer exchange program with MIT and will bring American engineers to China to train at Foxconn’s factories there.
We can obviously take Digitimes with a grain of salt here, but the prospect of having a plant in Detroit could revitalize old plants that are currently rusting away at the city’s core. Quality of life issues aside, this could bring manufacturing back to the rust belt in a way that few companies could.
Electronics manufacturing in America is hard because of the high cost of labor. By automating much of the process and hiring skilled workers, Foxconn could get around this problem and build an infrastructure and constellation of support services that few have seen since the heyday of the American car industry.