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Report: ‘Chaotic’ Foxconn operation unlikely to ever create 13,000 jobs

February 7, 2019 GMT

Another scathing report about the $10 billion Foxconn project in southeast Wisconsin suggests a “chaotic” operation unlikely to ever create 13,000 jobs.

The Bloomberg Businessweek report, titled “Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn,” is based on interviews with 49 people familiar with the project, including company executives, state officials and former employees of the Racine County facility.

“The only consistency, many of these people say, lay in how obvious it was that Wisconsin struck a weak deal,” the magazine reports.

According to one unnamed company executive: “There was initially a good plan, although lots of us were still questioning it. … Then as things changed, a lot of the internal perception became, ‘This is a nightmare. This is going to be horrible for Foxconn’s brand.’ ”

The company was in the news last week after Reuters quoted a company executive saying the facility would not manufacture liquid crystal display TVs because it couldn’t compete, and instead would focus on research and development. The company later reversed itself after CEO Terry Gou spoke with President Donald Trump and said Foxconn would still make smaller LCD screens.

Foxconn Technology Group issued a statement in response to the Bloomberg Businessweek story saying it “attempts to paint a false picture of Foxconn Technology Group and its substantial investment in Wisconsin.”

“While relying largely on unnamed sources, anecdotes, and hearsay, the piece fails to give a balanced view of Foxconn’s project in Wisconsin,” the company said. “As Foxconn continues its Wisconsin project, it remains committed to its long-term investment and creating 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin.”

Mark Hogan, CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., which negotiated a $3 billion tax credit deal with the company contingent on Foxconn reaching certain hiring goal, also issued a statement on the report.

“The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has developed and maintains a strong relationship with Foxconn representatives who continue to demonstrate their commitment to our state both through our ongoing dialogue and through their actions,” Hogan said.