Foxconn Technology Group presented its first electric cars, a significant step that may strengthen the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer's credentials as a serious contender for Apple Inc.'s top-secret automobile project.

The presented SUV and sedan types are concept cars that the company intends to produce for automobile customers rather than offer under its own name.

Foxconn is the largest iPhone assembler, giving it an advantage as a prospective automotive partner for Apple as the US firm considers expanding into cars. Foxconn agreed in late September to invest $280 million in the purchase of an auto factory in Ohio as part of its aggressive push into automobiles.

Yulon Motor Co. of Taiwan will be Foxconn's first electric-car customer. Yulon's Foxconn-built electric car is expected to cost less than NT$1 million ($35,700). Foxconn also showed off its electric bus, which will be delivered to a local transportation company next year.

Foxconn is one of the technology businesses looking to EVs as a source of growth in addition to low-margin electronics assembly. The Ohio agreement benefits Foxconn by increasing its assembly capacity, equipment, and talent. The firm is finalizing a decision on the site of a vehicle facility in Europe.

For any ambitious EV producer, the Apple vehicle would be the ultimate reward. Foxconn's close ties with the US consumer electronics behemoth works to its benefit. The collaboration has grown over the years as Apple has introduced product categories, and the firm currently accounts for about half of Foxconn's yearly revenue.

Apple's first vehicle is still years away, and the firm has faced obstacles. For years, an Apple vehicle has been a bit of a conundrum: it's one of the firm's most eagerly awaited products, yet the company has revealed practically nothing about it publicly.

Meanwhile, automakers like Tesla Inc., Volkswagen AG, and Hyundai Motor Co. already produce EVs and invest billions of dollars in product research and capacity.