(Reuters) - Foxconn Technology Group Ltd said on Monday it will complete work on a new factory in Wisconsin to assemble liquid crystal display screens and start production before the end of next year.
Foxconn said the next phases of factory construction will begin by this summer “and the facility will begin production in the 4th quarter of 2020.”
Foxconn initially planned to manufacture advanced large-screen displays for TVs and other consumer and professional products at the Wisconsin plant. It later said it would build smaller Generation 6 LCD screens instead.
The initial Gen6 facility will manufacture screens for education, medical and healthcare, entertainment and sports, security, and smart cities products, Foxconn said Monday.
In February, Foxconn reiterated it would still build a factory in Wisconsin after the company’s chairman spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump, following a Reuters report the Taiwanese company was reconsidering its plans.
Reuters reported in January that Foxconn was reconsidering making LCD panels at a planned $10 billion Wisconsin campus and instead intended to hire mostly engineers and researchers there.
Foxconn has stopped using the $10 billion figure in recent releases and has not responded to questions about how much it now plans to invest in Wisconsin.
The planned 20-million-square-foot campus marked the largest investment for a brand new location by a foreign-based company in U.S. history when it was announced at a White House ceremony in 2017. It was praised by Trump as proof of his ability to revive American manufacturing.
Heavily criticized in some quarters, the Foxconn project was championed by Wisconsin’s then governor, Scott Walker, a Republican who helped secure around $4 billion in tax breaks and other incentives before leaving office. Critics called the deal a corporate giveaway that would never result in the promised manufacturing jobs and said it posed serious environmental risks.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday that much work on the Foxconn complex appeared to have halted over the last two months.
After the Reuters report in January, Foxconn, a major supplier to Apple Inc, issued a statement saying the global market environment had changed since the project was first announced and “necessitated the adjustment of plans for all projects, including Wisconsin.”
Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Tom Brown