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Fisker finds a partner to make its electric Ocean SUV

Posted October 15, 2020 6:04 p.m. EDT

— Fisker, a Manhattan Beach, California-based electric car maker is partnering with Magna International, a major contract auto manufacturing company based in Canada, to build its new electric SUV.

Unlike Tesla, which has its own car factories and has plans for more, Fisker plans to outsource the building of its cars. It has arranged for Magna, which builds cars for a number of automakers, including Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, BMW and Jaguar, to help engineer and build its all-electric Fisker Ocean SUV.

Magna currently builds the Jaguar I-Pace, a sporty electric SUV. The company also recently began manufacturing an electric SUV in China called the Arcfox α-T, in partnership with China's BAIC Group.

Magna has developed its own electric vehicle engineering architecture that will be combined with Fisker's exterior and interior designs, Fisker said in an announcement. Ultimately, the two companies plan to create a unified architecture that will be the basis for future Fisker models.

The electric Fisker Ocean SUV will have a "California Mode" button, which opens all the windows at one touch. The rear hatch window can also be rolled down to allow long items -- like surfboards -- to hang out the back. It will also have a solar-panel roof to provide some additional electric power, the company has said.

Fisker claims the Ocean SUV will have a 250 to 300 mile range on a full charge, and will be available in all-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive versions. Four-wheel-drive versions will have electric motors capable of producing more than 300 horsepower. Those will be able to go from zero to 60 miles an hour in under three seconds, according to Fisker.

Manufacturing of the Fisker Ocean will begin in late 2022, Fisker said, and it will have a starting price of $37,499, somewhat less than a Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Under the agreement, Magna will have the option to purchase a 6% stake in Fisker after it goes public later this year. Fisker plans to become a publicly traded company through a merger with Spartan Energy Acquisition in a deal worth $2.9 billion.

Fisker Inc. is the second company founded by car designer Henrik Fisker under his own name. The first company, Fisker Automotive, produced a plug-in hybrid sedan in 2011. That company later dissolved after declaring bankruptcy.

Fisker's contract manufacturing arrangement is similar to a deal Nikola Motors' announced with General Motors last month. Under that arrangement, GM announced it would build Nikola's Badger pickup using GM's technology in exchange for an 11% stake in Nikola.

Following allegations of potentially fraudulent activity at Nikola and the departure of the company's founder and chairman Trevor Milton, GM later said that deal has not been finalized.

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