A Wisconsin state report covering Foxconn’s troubled glass fabrication factory says the project shows no sign of actual LCD manufacturing activity, and likely never will.
The report flies in the face of Foxconn’s claims earlier this year that said the plant would be producing LCD panels sometime before the end of 2020.
The Verge reported on the analysis. which was issued by the Wisconsin Division of Executive Budget and Finance. The report claims Foxconn’s plant “may be better suited for demonstration purposes rather than as a viable commercial glass fabrication facility.”
Foxconn has yet to have equipped the factory with the proper and necessary equipment to perform the intended function. The stage report says even if the facility were to produce LCD panels, it would be the smallest Gen 6 plant in the world — not the massive Gen 10.5 LCD factory promised by the company.
The analysis says even if the company did do any manufacturing at the facility, it would likely involve only the final assembly of components produced and shipped from other factories.
Earlier in October, the state denied Foxconn’s bid for tax subsidies, although they suggested they were still open to negotiating new terms for the factory.
Wisconsin Secretary of the Department of Administration Joel Brennan said in an interview with The Verge that “clearly the Gen 6 that’s been discussed and built in Mount Pleasant is not similar to other Gen 6 fabs around the world.”
Brennan said the memo was an effort to consult industry experts to better understand the scope of Foxconn’s current project and its potential impact on the state.
“There was justified criticism of the [former Governor Scott] Walker administration for entering into this contract, and not really getting any outside experts for an industry that was new to Wisconsin,” Brennan said. “This is about making sure that we can use the best expertise that we have inside and outside state government so that we can make the best decisions possible.”
Foxconn had promised that the plant would open in May 2020 with 1,500 jobs, which would be 300 jobs short of the employment numbers necessary to qualify for subsidies. The plat opening has been delayed, and now it appears there may not be any manufacturing at all taking place at the facility.