Fisker Inks Deal with Apple Manufacturer Foxconn to Build Electric Cars

Fisker Inc. wants to make an electric car for global markets, and it plans to team with a manufacturer of Apple devices to make it a reality in less than three years.

Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics producer, and the Manhattan Beach-based automaker announced Wednesday that the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding to develop and build an electric car toward the end of 2023 destined for not only North America and Europe markets, but also China and India. Fisker will lean on Foxconn's experience with supply chain for electric components, while it likely focuses on design. A formal partnership is expected sometime in the second quarter.

Dubbed Project PEAR (Personal Electric Automotive Revolution), the new electric cars are expected to be developed in 24 months, a rapid schedule for an automotive product. It will be the second vehicle for the startup after the Fisker Ocean, an all-electric SUV set for production in 2022 with 300 miles of range.

The electric vehicle company released a sketch of the vehicle along with the announcement, which didn't reveal much more than an outline tall, compact vehicle. Few other details, including target price range, were shared. It's unclear if it will start below the roughly $37,000 price for its planned Ocean SUV.

"We will create a vehicle that crosses social borders, while offering a combination of advanced technology, desirable design, innovation and value for money, whilst delivering on our commitment to create the world's most sustainable vehicles," Fisker Chairman and CEO Henrik Fisker said in Wednesday's announcement.

Foxconn said it wants to make 250,000 vehicles per year. It may manufacture Project PEAR in its Wisconsin factory that broke ground in 2018, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Ocean is set to be built in Austria at a factory that currently builds cars for BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz.

"The key success elements of electric vehicle development include the electric motor, electric control module and battery," Young-Way Liu, Foxconn Technology Group chairman said in the announcement. "We have two major advantages in this regard, with an exceptional vertically integrated global supply chain and the best supply chain management team in our industry."

Fisker, which went public last year, said it has 12,000 paid reservations for the Ocean, and that a production version, of which a prototype has already been shown, would be unveiled later this year.

Shares of the company were up 29.77% to $21.17 in mid-day trading. The startup faces challenges in the EV market as established automakers, from Ford to Kia, have recently released new models in the Ocean's price range, and more states look to ban sales of new gasoline-powered vehicles altogether.

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