Apple supplier Foxlink has suffered a major fire at its plant in Andhra Pradesh, Southern India. The Taiwanese manufacturer has stopped production at the facility after the massive fire burned down 50% of the machinery and caused an estimated loss of $12 million.
Foxlink is a unit of Taiwan’s Cheng Uei Precision Industry Co. Ltd and like Apple’s other suppliers, it established production units in India in the past few years. The factory in Andghar was set up in 2020 to make cables for iPhone chargers.
Apple partner Foxlink suspends operations at torched facility for two months
Reuters reports that the fire was so intense that parts of the building collapsed to the ground and four out of the ten assembly lines at the two buildings of the Andhra factory were severely burned which would take two months to be operational again.
A source with direct knowledge said that Foxlink operates a total of 10 assembly lines in two separate facilities at the plant in Andhra, of which four were completely damaged and unlikely to resume operations for two months.
Furthermore, the six unaffected assembly lines would resume operations later this week because of damaged IT servers.
J Ramanaiah, who leads the Fire Services Department for Tirupati district in the state, told Reuters that the cause of the fire was unknown and Foxlink has suffered damages of $12 million in the fire. Luckily there were no casualties.
Management has conveyed to us that they estimate a loss of roughly 1 billion rupees ($12 million) from the incident,” Ramanaiah said.
As Foxlink is one of Apple’s key suppliers, this incident is expected to cause supply chain disruptions.
A second source familiar with the developments said that Foxlink was a key supplier for Apple in India, and “there could be potential supply chain disruptions for iPhones made in India or shipped from India.”
Although Apple is trying to increase its production volume in India and gradually shifting its production units in the country to reduce reliance on China, the plan is not going smoothly. Its suppliers like Wistron and Foxconn have faced production delays due to riots over unpaid salaries and strikes over unsanitary conditions.
Recently, it was reported that Indian manufacturers lack the zeal and ambition of Chinese manufacturers to deliver quality products as per Apple’s standards.