Fisker Inc., a Los Angeles-based electric vehicle startup led by designer Henrik Fisker, says it has initial orders for a high-end version of the battery-powered Ocean SUV that goes into production in November worth more than $300 million.
Although the company promotes a relatively affordable version of Ocean, priced from $37,499 on its website, the first 5,000 orders are for the top-end Fisker Ocean One that will cost about $70,000 each, Henrik Fisker tells Forbes. Production of those units starts Nov. 17 in Graz, Austria, at a plant operated by auto supplier Magna, its manufacturing partner. Lower-priced Oceans will be available by late 2023, he said. The company also said it has more than 56,000 total orders for the SUV.
“Right now we see the higher income levels being interested in EVs and the first adopters. They go for the higher-end vehicles. In 2024 we’re going to see more of a leveling out (in price) and more interest,” Fisker says. “Our whole business model is laid out in a way where we want to aim for volume, which means we need that $37,500 car because that’s how we get the volume.”
Fisker is the latest entry to the fast-moving U.S. electric vehicle market, following launches last year by fellow startups Rivian and Lucid that offer EVs with prices topping $80,000. And though its first units will be pricey, Fisker’s strategy to cut into Tesla’s massive sales lead is to shift to more affordable models. It’s planning a cheaper version of Ocean and a small utility vehicle called PEAR that it will produce with electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn in Ohio in 2024. It’s shared few details about PEAR, other than that it’s aimed at younger buyers and will have a $30,000 base price.
Fisker Inc. is Henrik Fisker’s second attempt to challenge Tesla after his first, Fisker Automotive, failed in 2013, after building only a few thousand units of the $100,000 Karma plug-in hybrid luxury car. He cofounded the new company with his wife Geeta Gupta-Fisker, who’s also its chief operating officer and CFO.
(For more, see Meet The Fiskers, The Billionaire Power Couple Taking On Tesla)
The company, which isn’t yet generating revenue, reported second-quarter results on Wednesday that were generally in line with analysts’ expectations. Fisker’s net loss was $105.9 million for the quarter and it used about $191 million for vehicle development work and other expenses ahead of the start of commercial operations late this year. The company said it had about $851 million on hand, enough to carry it through the start of Ocean production.
“2Q operational losses were lower than consensus, cash consumption was in-line,” Morgan Stanley equity analyst Adam Jonas said in a note. “Fisker ended 2Q with cash to sustain operations through year-end before testing minimum cash… setting up for a volatile 2H.”
Fisker shares rose 5.8% to $10.41 on Wednesday before the company’s results announcement. They were little changed in after-hours trading.
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