Fisker Inc., which is going public through a merger with a so-called blank check company, said on Thursday auto supplier Magna International Inc. will supply the vehicle platform and build the electric automaker’s Ocean SUV.
As part of the deal, Magna will receive warrants to purchase a stake of up to 6 per cent in Fisker, worth about US$3-billion, Fisker chief executive Henrik Fisker said.
“We’re full speed ahead,” Mr. Fisker said in a telephone interview. “This is a huge turning point. We realized Magna would be an amazing partner because having skin in the game obviously means we both have the same goal of getting this car to market.”
Fisker, which is merging with Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp., said it had finalized a deal with Canada’s Magna to build the Ocean in Europe, marking the Canadian supplier’s first entry into contract manufacturing for an EV startup.
While Magna has built vehicles for traditional automakers for years, analysts and investors have speculated it could eventually build for technology companies such as Apple Inc.
Magna retrofits vehicles for Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo and builds vehicles for BMW AG, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Tata Motors Ltd.’s Jaguar Land Rover at its plant in Graz, Austria.
Magna also has a tentative deal to build vehicles for EV startup Canoo Holdings Ltd., which is also going public later this year through a reverse merger with a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.
Magna’s stake in Fisker is subject to hitting three engineering and production milestones through the planned start of production of the Ocean in November, 2022, Mr. Fisker said. Fisker Inc. said in August it had a tentative deal for Magna to build the SUV at its Graz plant.
Magna president Swamy Kotagiri said the stake is more about Magna getting compensated.
“We really want to be the Switzerland for the automotive industry - neutrality,” he said. “We’re not siding with one customer.”
“This is a unique competitive position for us, particularly with new mobility players and [automakers] seeking to expand their electrified offerings.”
Further terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Kotagiri said Fisker’s pricing was based on volume. Fisker is targeting initial sales of 8,000 SUVs in 2022, 51,000 in 2023 and 175,000 in 2024.
Fisker had previously said it was negotiating to use Volkswagen AG’s MEB electric-vehicle platform, but Mr. Fisker said the company remains in talks with the German automaker to use unspecified body and interior parts.
Closing a deal addressing Fisker’s platform and manufacturing needs was seen as critical by investors. Fisker’s inability in July to close the deal it initially targeted with VW sent shares in Spartan Energy down 20 per cent.
Use of Magna’s aluminum-intensive vehicle platform will allow the Ocean to have an electric driving range of more than 483 kilometres and enable Fisker to offer buyers the option of a third row of seating, Mr. Fisker said.
The vehicle will have a starting price of $37,499.
Fisker’s merger with Spartan is expected to close on Oct. 30 and its shares will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FSR,” Mr. Fisker said.
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