Foxconn said it will plan to Quadruple Workforce at Tamil Nadu iPhone Plant

Apple supplier Foxconn plans to double the number of workers at its iPhone plant in India in two years, two government officials with knowledge of the matter said, pointing to production adjustments amid disruptions in China.

Foxconn has grabbed headlines in recent weeks, with tight virus restrictions at its Zhengzhou plant, the world’s largest iPhone factory, disrupting production and concerns over the impact of China’s virus policy on global supply chains.

The disruption prompted Apple to lower its forecast for shipments of its flagship iPhone 14 models this week, lowering its sales outlook for the holiday season.

Taiwan-based Foxconn now plans to increase the workforce at its southern Indian plant to 70,000 by adding another 53,000 workers over the next two years, said the sources, who declined to be identified as the talks are confidential.

Although the size of the plant in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu is dwarfed by Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant, which employs 200,000 workers, it is central to Apple’s efforts to move production out of China.

Foxconn, officially called Hon Hai Precision Industry, opened a factory in India in 2019 and has been ramping up production. It started producing the iPhone 14 this year.

Foxconn’s interest in expanding the facility is known, but the extent of the planned expansion and timelines have not been previously reported.

Both Foxconn and Apple declined to comment.

Foxconn Chairman Liu Young-way said in an earnings call on Thursday that the company will adjust its production capacity and output to avoid the impact of possible supply disruptions over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Foxconn has shared its plans with Tamil Nadu officials to speed up its hiring efforts at the Indian plant due to disruptions in China, the first government source said.

Besides iPhones, the plant also produces products for other global technology companies, but the new hiring campaign is driven mainly by the need to meet the growing demand for the iPhone, the person said.

A Taiwanese person with knowledge of the matter said that Foxconn is expanding its operations in India to increase its capacity for basic models and meet Indian needs.

“We are gradually increasing our production rate there,” the person said, declining to give details on his hiring plans in India.

A second government source in India, a senior official in the Tamil Nadu administration, said the state government is working with Foxconn to “finalize” the expansion.

On Oct. 27, the government’s investment promotion unit tweeted that senior government officials had visited Taiwan and met with Liu. They “discussed in detail Foxconn’s plans for new ventures and investments” and offered government support.

The government has been in talks with suppliers to address issues such as staff housing as the increase is expected, a senior government official said.

Last year, the Foxconn plant in Tamil Nadu was at the center of a series of poisoning incidents that sparked worker protests and exposed the living conditions of workers in hostels near the factory.

Officials in Tamil Nadu, an electronics and automobile manufacturing hub, have also been pressuring Apple’s suppliers to share parts of the production of iPhones without a joint venture, the two government sources added.

Currently, iPhones are assembled in India by at least three of Apple’s global suppliers: Foxconn and Pegatron in Tamil Nadu; and Wistron in nearby Karnataka state.

JP Morgan analysts estimated in September that Apple could make one in four iPhones in India by 2025, and 25 percent of all Apple products, including the Mac, iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods, will be made outside of China in 2025 from the current five percent. .

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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