Thursday, April 4, 2019

Foxconn is expanding - - in India

[Updated, 4/5/19, 7:30 A.M.] As site preparation and construction continues in Mount Pleasant for a Foxconn plant which is raising more questions than answers, the company is expanding its footprint in India with definite, cost-efficient plans.
Foxconn Is Weeks From Trial Run to Make Newest iPhones in India
The Indian assembly line of Foxconn’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. would serve local and export markets by the time Apple announces its next iPhone models in September, the people familiar said. The Taiwanese contract manufacturer, the biggest maker of iPhones, will initially invest about $300 million to set up for Apple with investments to ramp up as capacity expands, they said. 
IPhone XS Max Silver.svg

Now, to be sure, Foxconn never said it would manufacture iPhones at the Wisconsin plant - - though some small display screen production or product assembly is possible - - and the company has also revised downward the scale of that plant, but it's easy to see why Foxconn would find the manufacturing sector in India so attractive:

The average annual wage for a production worker in India is just over 175,000 rupees; a currency converting website says that's about $2,500 US a year.

One hiring website pegs the average production worker pay in Racine at $10.15 an hour, or just over $21,000 annually - - not a family-supporting wage - - but more than a Racine worker's Indian counterpart would earn in over eight years.

So while I am using hurriedly gathered data, it's still clear to no precisely how Foxconn will hire 13,000 workers for its Wisconsin project at an average annual wage of more than $53,000, as this Journal Sentinel story noted with a perhaps unintentional chuckle:
Foxconn says it will create thousands of jobs at surprisingly good wages
Full Foxconn archive, here.

And as I noted in 2017
Walker's initial Foxconn hype focused on new jobs averaging about $54,000 annually, but Wisconsin is now acknowledging it will subsidize those at the $30,000 level.
Assembly Republicans introduced revisions to the bill Friday. The new version retains the tax breaks but ties them to jobs created that pay at least $30,000 and exempts salaries over $100,000 from the calculations.
With 2,080 hours in a working year - - 40 hours x 52 weeks - - the subsidies to Foxconn will include jobs paying less than $15 per hour.
Aren't these the kind of jobs open to automation?
Finally, factor in Urban Milwaukee's recent reporting casting more doubt about what kind of facility Foxconn is actually building in Mount Pleasant, and for what purposes.
Will there ever be a final, definitive story on what if anything Foxconn will be manufacturing at its proposed plant in Racine County? 
...when the LCD plant is built, according to Adam Jelen, senior vice president with Gilbane Building Co., Foxconn’s construction manager, it will be built on the many acres of flat, compressed gravel at the Mt. Pleasant site, as he told the mediaAnd you can’t build an LCD plant on such a base, as Willy Shih, Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School and an expert on the LC D industry, tells Urban Milwaukee.   
“A compressed gravel foundation might be fine for a normal industrial building, but it’s probably not an LCD Fab, which has to have a massive steel infrastructure to support a vibration-free environment for equipment that has to do ultra-precision (manufacturing),” Shih says. 

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