With a new wave of electric vehicles moving closer to launch pads, Fisker announced it signed a binding agreement with Magna International Inc. to build a new EV for distribution in Europe and North America.
This finalizes the memorandum of understanding the two agreed to last October.
Fisker and Magna, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, also confirmed production of the all-electric Fisker Ocean SUV is slated to begin Nov. 17, 2022, keeping it on the original timeline for deliveries in late 2022. Production is expected to jump to 50,000 units in 2023.
The new vehicle will be built at Magna’s facility in Graz, Austria. The factory has produced more than 3.7 million vehicles for several global automakers, such as BMW and Jeep, throughout the years. The finalized agreement gives the EV maker a partner with deep pockets as it launches its EV venture.
“From the start of this partnership, Fisker and Magna aligned very quickly on the importance of delivering a high-quality vehicle on time,” said Chairman and CEO Henrik Fisker.
“We continue to strengthen our partnership beyond platform development and manufacturing into areas such as the development of Fisker Intelligent (FI) Pilot. I am very confident Fisker and Magna will deliver an incredible product to our customers.”
Broad agreement critical
This agreement runs through the expected lifecycle of the vehicle — 2029 — covering planned volumes, manufacturing costs, quality metrics as well as critical planning and launch phases. It also covers all facility investments, including body shop, a clear path to start-of-production in November 2022 and rapid ramp up to full run-rate production, the two companies said in a statement.
It also allows for future collaboration and partnerships with the Ocean or other FM29 architecture variants, as well as collaboration on efficiencies in the production process that may drive post-launch manufacturing and cost innovations, the company noted in a release.
Along with the previously signed agreements on electric vehicle (EV) platform sharing and ADAS package, the agreement finalizes the framework established between the two companies beginning in October 2020, the statement added. As part of the deal, Canada-based Magna will take a 6% stake in Fisker.
“Our complete vehicle systems approach, combining all elements of our portfolio, makes Magna’s proposition highly competitive — in capital efficiency, launch reliability and speed to market,” said Magna Steyr President Frank Klein. “Our collaboration with Fisker is an excellent example demonstrating the unique capabilities Magna offers as the go-to supplier when it comes to delivering world-class technologies and vehicles for our customers.”
Partnership accelerates timeframe, reduces costs
By teaming up with Magna, however, Fisker should be able to better spread out its assets as it won’t have to come up with the money needed to set up a factory to start building the Ocean SUV – a project that Henrik Fisker said should save as much as $1 billion.
Fisker also will have a ready-made, skateboard-style platform it can use to underpin the Ocean and some of the products scheduled to follow, amounting to more big savings.
The platform Magna has developed is slightly larger and will allow Fisker to make Ocean slightly larger. “So, it allows us to put in a third row and achieve class-leading range” with a larger battery pack than originally planned, said Fisker.The prototype featured an 80 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion pack. Fisker won’t say how much larger the new platform’s pack will be but stressed that it will allow the production version of the Ocean to top the longest-range version of the Tesla Model Y which currently manages 315 miles between charges, according to the EPA.