Our goal is bigger than simply bringing Tesla customers

Fisker’s founder and CEO told CNBC on Thursday that the electric vehicle startup is trying to do more than just take market share away from Tesla.

Henrik Fisker made the comments in an interview on “Mad Money,” a day after his company announced that it had signed a key production agreement with Foxconn Technology Group. The Taiwan-based company is best known for its role in assembling iPhones for Apple.

“At the end of the day, we are not here just to drive Tesla customers away from Tesla,” Fisker told anchor Jim Cramer. “That’s great if they come … but the real market opportunity is the 80 million people who buy a new car every year. That’s a gigantic opportunity.”

Cramer had asked Fisker how he thinks the design of the company’s first highly anticipated vehicle, called the Ocean, rivals those of Elon Musk’s Tesla, which is the dominant electric vehicle brand in the US.

While battery electric vehicles are expected to continue to increase their market share compared to internal combustion engines, the space is becoming increasingly crowded. In addition to startups like Fisker, established auto titans like General Motors and Ford are investing heavily.

“We didn’t want to make another ‘me too’ Tesla. That’s what they’re doing. That’s great, but we really want to make an alternative,” Fisker said, touting the Ocean as a true SUV. “That’s what will set us apart from other auto companies that are actually making hatchbacks or sedans,” he added.

The Ocean, which starts at $ 37,499, will go into production in the fourth quarter of next year. In October, Fisker struck a deal with auto supplier Magna International to build the Ocean.

Fisker, a well-known car designer whose previous electric vehicle startup went bankrupt, said the company’s ability to secure high-profile partners at Magna and Foxconn proved its potential.

Fisker and Foxconn have so far signed a memorandum of understanding, and the deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. According to the companies, Foxconn plans to build Fisker’s second vehicle; Production is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2023.

“When it comes to Foxconn, I think they really do print on steel almost that we have a business model that works. It wasn’t just a single thing that we made a deal with Magna,” Fisker said.

Fisker, which last year went public through a reverse merger, saw its shares close 4.43% Thursday at $ 21.58 a share. The company released fourth-quarter results after the bell, reporting a loss from operations of $ 31.3 million.


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