After Trump intervenes, Foxconn changes Wisconsin factory story yet again

Foxconn says the factory plan is back on after Trump personally reached out.

Just days after Foxconn said its Wisconsin factory was pivoting from being a giant factory to being a very small something else, Foxconn now says the plan is now back on again.

What could have induced the surprise change of heart? Foxconn's Chairman had a "personal conversation" with Donald Trump.

From Josh Dzieza at
The Verge:

"After productive discussions between the White House and the company, and after a personal conversation between President Donald J. Trump and Chairman Terry Gou, Foxconn is moving forward with our planned construction of a Gen 6 fab facility," a statement read. A Gen 6 facility is smaller than the factory Foxconn initially promised in 2017, but larger than the assembly facility Foxconn said it would build yesterday.

Foxconn has changed its plans multiple times since 2017, when then-Governor Scott Walker wooed the company with a record-breaking $4.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies. At the time, Foxconn promised a state-of-the-art, "Gen 10.5" screen-producing facility, and Walker and Trump touted the deal for bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US. In June of last year, however, the company said it would make a far smaller "Gen 6" facility. This week, the company said it wouldn't make screens in Wisconsin at all, and would instead do a mix of assembly and "knowledge work." The sudden change in plans seemed to catch Wisconsin officials off guard, and left locals worried about the future of their communities.

Yesterday, the company told The Verge that the market has changed since the Wisconsin project was first announced, but that the company remains committed to the technology park project and meeting its original target of creating 13,000 jobs. Regarding what people would do at the park, the company emphasized research into its "AI 8K + 5G ecosystem." It also listed several projects that would begin in the next 18 months, including a research and development center and an assembly facility.

Today's statement saying that the Gen 6 factory will be built after all does not contain a timeline or any further details.