Fisker’s founder and CEO told CNBC Thursday that the electric vehicle startup is trying to take more than just market share from Tesla.
Henrik Fisker made the comments in an interview on Mad Money the day after his company announced that it had signed a major manufacturing deal with Foxconn Technology Group. The Taiwan-based company is best known for its role in assembling iPhones for Apple.
“Ultimately, we’re not just here to get Tesla customers away from Tesla,” Fisker told host Jim Cramer. “It’s great when they come … but the real market opportunity is the 80 million people who buy a new car every year. It’s a gigantic opportunity.”
Cramer had asked Fisker how he believed the design of the company’s first expected vehicle, the Ocean, would rival that of Elon Musk’s Tesla, the dominant EV brand in the US
While battery-powered electric vehicles are expected to continue to gain market share compared to internal combustion engines, the space is becoming increasingly dense. In addition to startups like Fisker, established auto titans like General Motors and Ford are investing heavily.
“We didn’t want to do another ‘Me too’ Tesla. They are doing that. That’s great, but we really want to make an alternative,” said Fisker, extolling the ocean as a real SUV. “That will set us apart from other automakers who really make hatchbacks or sedans,” he added.
The Ocean, with a starting price of $ 37,499, is slated to go into production in the fourth quarter of next year. In October, Fisker signed a contract with auto parts supplier Magna International to manufacture the ocean.
Fisker, a well-known auto designer whose previous EV startup filed for bankruptcy, said the company’s ability to attract high-profile partners in Magna and Foxconn shows its potential.
Fisker and Foxconn have so far signed a memorandum of understanding, which is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021. According to the company, Foxconn plans to manufacture the Fisker’s second vehicle. Production is planned for the fourth quarter of 2023.
“When it comes to Foxconn, I think steel really stamps, almost like we have a business model that works. It wasn’t just a one-off that we made a deal with Magna,” said Fisker.
Fisker, which went public through a reverse merger last year, closed its shares Thursday 4.43% to $ 21.58 per share. The company released its fourth quarter results after the bell and reported an operating loss of $ 31.3 million.