Fisker’s new full-electric car developed with Apple partner Foxconn Technology Group will be an affordable five-seater that will have the same broad appeal as the original Mini and Volkswagen Beetle, CEO Henrik Fisker said.
Fisker and Taiwan’s Foxconn on Wednesday announced a partnership for Foxconn to build a car targeted at markets including North America, Europe, China and India, and sold under the Fisker brand. Production is set to start in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Fisker said he has moved to the 3D modeling phase of the design of the car.
The former Aston Martin designer said it would appeal to a wide base of buyers just like the original Mini launched in 1959 and the first-generation Beetle that became an icon in the 1950s and 1960s.
“Billionaires had them, ordinary people had them. That’s the sort of iconic vehicle that we are looking to make, a feel-good vehicle,” Fisker said. “I want to create a vehicle that can go across social borders.”
Fisker would not be drawn on the car’s size nor its body shape but promised something radical. “The only thing that makes it a car is that it has four wheels and needs to be certified as a car,” he said.
The car will be priced below Fisker’s upcoming full-electric Ocean SUV, which will cost $37,499 in the U.S. before incentives, Fisker said. Production of the Ocean, the company’s first model, will start at the end of next year.
Foxconn is expected to build more than 250,000 vehicles annually as part of the Fisker partnership, according to a statement from the companies.
The Ocean will be built by Magna International’s Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria, where the contract manufacturer also builds cars for BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Jaguar.
Fisker said no decision had been taken on where the second model developed with Foxconn will be built. He said he envisaged the car would be built in “several places” around the world.
“The acceleration we have in terms of product is only possible with multiple partners, and multiple existing manufacturing facilities,” Fisker said.
Foxconn in October introduced its first EV chassis and a software platform aimed at helping automakers bring cars to the market faster, but Fisker would not say whether the new model would use that platform. The Ocean will use a platform developed by Magna.
“Foxconn will take the lead in manufacturing supply chain and we will take the lead in design, development, distribution and branding,” Fisker said.
Foxconn and Fisker will jointly invest in the model, Fisker said.
The two companies have not discussed Foxconn taking a stake in Fisker as Magna International has done. As part of the deal to build the Ocean, the supplier will receive warrants to purchase a stake of up to 6 percent in Fisker, worth about $3 billion.
In January, Foxconn signed a manufacturing deal with Chinese electric-vehicle startup Byton to start mass production of the Byton M-Byte by the first quarter of 2022.
A week later, Foxconn and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group said they would join forces to provide production and consulting services to global automotive enterprises.