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[NEWS] Why Fisker will shine this time around, according to its CEO
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Why Fisker will shine this time around, according to its CEO

henrik fisker 1931

We chat to Henrik Fisker as his EV start up prepares the Ocean SUV for a global launch

Henrik Fisker has unveiled the production-ready version of his eponymous EV start-up company’s first model, the Ocean SUV, a year ahead of its global launch.

To be produced by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria, the Ocean will arrive in the UK in the second quarter of 2023 with competitive performance figures, advanced technology and a range of between 250 and 350 miles.

Its design, five-seat interior and technical make-up are largely unchanged from the prototype first seen in 2019, right down to the convertible-style California Mode function and roof-mounted solar panel, and a rough starting price of £28,000 is expected.

We spoke to Fisker at the Los Angeles motor show to find out more about how he plans to succeed this time, following the demise of his earlier, Karma-making automotive business.

Have you been inspired by any other companies?

“Not really. We’re doing it differently to Tesla, for example. They’re building their own dealerships; we will have Experience Centres where you can go and see the vehicle, but we won’t service and deliver vehicles from these centres because generally they’re expensive real estate. So we’re trying to cut costs by putting our distribution centres outside the cities and making partnerships for service. All this has allowed us to cut costs for the customer. 

“If there’s anybody that has inspired our business model when it comes to manufacturing, it’s probably Apple. They don’t build their own products; they spend all their efforts on customer features and solutions. That’s the way we’re doing it.”

What does the UK market mean to Fisker?

“The UK is among our top five in Europe. It’s very important, and I see a lot of growth there. Specifically, of course, because of London’s strict restrictions [on cars], we’ve already seen a lot of interest and reservations.

“When you think about the premium segment we’re in, the UK has traditionally always led when it comes to specialty vehicles, which is one of the reasons we’re establishing Magic Works in England: you have a lot of talent there.

“Getting [ex-Aston Martin Racing boss] David King on board, who I know from my days at Aston Martin, will allow us to do some exceptional, enthusiast-focused vehicles that will be higher-priced and lower-volume.”

Will Magic Works have a hand in series-production cars?

“Right now, we’re looking at Magic Works running our higher-end vehicles. We’re dividing it into two different segments: one is high-volume vehicles below $70,000 [£52,000], then we’re looking at lower-volume vehicles – not one-offs – and they’re above $70,000. We will talk more next year about what those models are, but right now we have two vehicles that David is working with me on defining. We already have design concepts for those two vehicles. And then the second role for Magic Works is that if we end up doing specialty vehicles, like a police version of the Ocean, that will probably be done there.”

Can you imagine developing cars specifically for Europe?

“I don’t think that has any value any more: those days are over. That’s why you see a lot of the big car companies cancel their small, Europe-only cars: it’s very hard to make money if you only serve one continent. I think you need to make global cars that appeal to the world and specifically the US, Europe and China, and that’s our aim.

“The Pear we’re developing with [Taiwanese electronics giant] Foxconn will be smaller than the Ocean, and it might appeal even more in Europe, but it’s still going to have to appeal in the US, so it will be very beefy, not too tiny; and it has to appeal to China as well.”

Will Fisker primarily be an SUV brand?

“No. We’re planning an upper-end sports car that David and I are defining right now, and we’re looking at different business case scenarios for that. I want to go out and make a really cool enthusiast’s vehicle, but I want to redefine what that means as an EV.

“I think we’ve seen enough mid-engined two-seater vehicles that it’s almost like the market is flooded. So I want to do something different, something that fits into the future, which is probably more usable and a lot more fun than we’ve seen so far and maybe really radically designed, too.” 






https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-c...ng-its-ceo
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