Steve Fowler thinks Fisker’s innovative electric car plans could turn the Californian company into a heavyweight.
One of the next big car companies could be one you’ve never heard of, so how about this: Fisker?
Okay, so you may remember the ill-fated Fisker Karma from some years ago. Undeterred by that experience, company founder Henrik Fisker had dusted himself off, come up with another plan, secured substantial backing and will be launching the first model from an all-new Fisker car company in just a few weeks. He’s hired some of the best people in the business to work with him and has just revealed plans to develop two new models at his soon-to-open Fisker Magic Works in the UK.
What makes things different this time around? I caught up with Fisker himself this week to find out. “It’s the products, it’s the company’s philosophy and its brand and what we stand for,” he told me. “Our strategy to our investors was let’s spend all the billions we get purely on the product and not on building a manufacturing plant.”
Certainly from the first look at the Fisker Ocean, it’s a cool car. It’s been designed and engineered by Fisker and his team in California, and will be built by Magna Steyr in Austria. Magna is pretty good at that, given that it’s already building Jaguar’s E- and I-Pace, the Mercedes G-Class, and BMW’s 5 Series and Z4 models.
Next up, and potentially even more exciting, will be the Fisker Pear – again, designed and developed by Fisker, but this time built by Foxconn. You may not have heard of Foxconn, but the chances are you may well have used something it’s made – such as an Apple iPhone.
Yes, Fisker has taken a leaf out of the tech business book by getting someone else to build his cars for him, which he says means he can keep prices low; the Ocean is set to start at less than $40,000 (AUD$54,000), with the Pear expected to be cheaper still. He promises they’ll be sold differently, too. Sure, fresh thinking can be risky, but it can pay off hugely. And it’s just what the car business needs to stay relevant to future generations of car buyers.