Magna to build Fisker Ocean electric SUV in Europe
The Canadian contract manufacturer, Magna International, will build Fisker’s fully electric SUV Ocean, as the company announced last week. And it’s going to do that in Europe from 2022 on, in one of its production facilities, likely at the major plant of its daughter Magna Steyr AG in Graz, Austria.
California-based ‘eco-carmaker’ Fisker Inc. announced in the summer of this year it was negotiating with Volkswagen to use its MEB platform for electric cars to underpin the production version of its Ocean SUV. Hendrik Fisker wanted to concentrate on its electric cars’ design, software, and digital features rather than on ‘capital intensive production.’
Now it has become clear that Magna will build the Ocean on its own electric vehicle architecture in combination with the ‘Fisker Flexible Platform Adaptive Design’ (FF-FAD). According to the Magna announcement, both companies want to create a ‘lightweight, aluminum hybrid-based FM29 platform for the Fisker Ocean’.
In July, Fisker presented the four-vehicle line-up the company wants to launch, featuring the Ocean SUV, a segment busting super-sports sedan based on the EMotion concept, a sports crossover, and a pickup truck.
“Each vehicle will be delivered utilizing platforms, battery packs, and component systems from the world’s leading OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers,” the official press release said at that time. Apparently, Magna is one of the privileged partners. The partnership goes beyond development and contract manufacturing, as Magna will get warrants from Fisker to purchase shares in the company.
Rented rather than sold
In January, just before the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, Fisker announced the Ocean’s production version to be launched at a base price of $37 500 (€31 616). But only a minimal number of cars will be directly sold to owners.
Fisker announced it would feature ‘a new owner experience’ as it would be available starting at 379 dollars a month, and drivers can decide how long they want to keep it. As an industry’s first, a customer can return the vehicle in one month, eight months, 22 months, or several years. No long-term contracts, with 30 000 miles (48 200 km) per year included.
Customers will never have to take their vehicles to service independently, as Fisker will pick up and return vehicles when maintenance is required, or service is requested – signaled by the onboard system or through the mobile app.
The car’s key features include an 80-kWh lithium-ion battery pack for a range up to 300 miles (482 km), a full-length solar roof, supporting the car’s systems, and according to Fisker, ‘adding 1 000 miles of range annually’. Fully recycled carpeting (from abandoned fishing net waste) and a vegan interior are also featured, while customers can prefer an eco-suede interior from recycled polyester fibers.
‘One of the ten greatest car designers’
Henrik Fisker (56) is a Danish-American automotive designer who gained worldwide appraisal for his design of cars like the BMW Z8 or the Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage. In 2007, he started Fisker Automotive and created the Fisker Karma, a gorgeously looking car that was one of the first premium plug-in hybrids in the world.
Unfortunately, the Karma wasn’t a big commercial success, so Fisker left his company in 2013. In 2016, he tried again, founding Fisker Inc. together with his daughter. He received numerous prizes and awards.
Goliath.com named him “one of the ten greatest car designers in automotive history”, writing that he has created “some of the modern masterpieces in the automobile industry.” Until now, he hasn’t proven himself as a businessman as he has been designing cars, but, like Elon Musk, the man is convinced that he has a mission to convince people to drive an electric car.