BY JAY RAMEY | CarAndDriver.Com
Troy Warren for LosAngelesNewsAndTalk.Com
The long-promised Ocean SUV is slated for production next year, with Fisker planning to open brand centers beforehand.
- The Fisker Ocean SUV will be revealed at the Los Angeles auto show in November, ahead of the start of production in 2022.
- The battery-electric SUV will start at $37,499, promising a range of 300 miles in addition to features like a solar roof.
- Fisker plans to open brand experience centers in a number of major cities in 2022, ahead of the start of production.
Henrik Fisker’s EV startup will bring a production version of the battery-electric Ocean SUV to the Los Angeles auto show this fall, following its first appearance at nearly two years ago at the CES technology show. Promised to come with a 300-mile range and a $37,499 starting price,prior to any incentives, the Ocean is slated to be produced by Austria’s Magna Steyr starting next fall, using Magna’s own EV architecture.
The SUV is due to enter production in the fourth quarter of 2022, a timeline from which Fisker has not backed away from since the deal with Magna was announced, with the Los Angeles auto show later this year serving as its big debut. Testing of production prototypes is set to start later this year, with the company stating that it has 17,300 paid reservations for the SUV so far in addition to 62,000 hand-raisers, as well as fleet orders from companies including Onto, Viggo, and Credit Agricole Consumer Finance.
“Our reservation and order process was designed from the outset to be transparent, to prioritize quality over quantity and to ensure our stakeholders have confidence in the commitment of our reservation holders,” said Fisker chairman and CEO Henrik Fisker. “As we get closer to launch, we will be working with our prospective owners to transition their reservations into contracted orders. We have many loyal supporters of the company waiting for their Ocean, and the reservation system is purposely designed to be fair to those who reserve with the intention to ultimately take delivery.”
The company also plans to open six Fisker Brand Experience Centers. The first such locations will open their doors in early 2022 in Los Angeles and Munich, with the rest (likely New York, Copenhagen, Miami, and London) scheduled to open in the second half of 2022. The centers are expected to serve as analogues to various company-owned stores launched by a number of other automakers, an approach popularized by Tesla, where customers can experience the Fisker models, talk to vehicle experts, and place orders.
Fisker the company has been on the periphery of EV startups the past few years, after briefly offering its Fisker Karma range-extended electric sedan early last decade, starting in 2011. That was a year before the Tesla Model S debuted, and for a brief time the two looked they had about equal chances of success in the marketplace. But just under 2500 examples of the Karma ended up being produced, with the effort stalling after its battery supplier entered bankruptcy. Since that time, the remains of the Karma project had been bought up by a Chinese industrial giant and rebranded as Karma Automotive, while Henrik Fisker has been plotting a return to the EV game under his own name, which has been imminent for quite some time.
That return began to seem more likely almost a year ago when the company announced that it had reached a deal with Austria’s Magna International to produce the Fisker Ocean SUV.
The Ocean will also arrive in a markedly different EV landscape than that of just a few years ago, as the list of competitors by late 2022 will be quite extensive. Just how Fisker will be able to distinguish itself and grab a slice of the EV pie given all the other players that will be in the game by then remains to be seen.
“With less than 500 days to run before we start on-time production of the Fisker Ocean, we are simultaneously focused on crafting our customer journey,” Fisker added. “Our brand experience centers will be the primary physical touchpoint for the majority of our prospective customers. Our global rollout plans are focused on the largest metropolitan areas for electric vehicle adoption—and where we can meet the greatest number of our reservation holders.”
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