And Fisker pays a big price, at least for now.
It had been a mostly great month of July for Los Angeles-based Fisker. The EV automaker previously announced plans to issue an IPO following an impressive $2.9 billion deal that will see it merge with Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp., an affiliate of private equity firm Apollo Global Management. This arrangement is expected to produce $1 billion in gross proceeds necessary to bring the Fisker Ocean all-electric SUV to the market by the end of 2022.
On the very last day of July, Fisker has more good news: future EVs aside from the Ocean SUV, specifically a sports sedan, a sports crossover, and even a pickup truck by 2025. Details about each one are scarce for now, but Fisker promises each one will utilize platforms, battery packs, and other components sourced from the best suppliers in the world.
As we also reported a few weeks ago, one of those suppliers is expected to be Volkswagen. Fisker and the German automaker were in talks for the former to utilize key components of VW's MEB electric platform for the Ocean. This is the same architecture that will underpin the VW ID.4 and Audi Q4 e-tron. However, Reuters is now reporting that deal may not be happening. In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Fisker announced on Friday a delay in those talks.
"We have not achieved our goal of signing a cornerstone agreement with VW by the end of July 2020 as we previously anticipated," Fisker said in the filing. "We look forward to continuing discussions with VW again in September after the traditional European summer holidays. We remain in conversation with several other potential (automakers) and suppliers that would be able to fit within our unique business model and we believe will enable us to enter into definitive manufacturing and supply agreements before year-end."
Spartan's shares fell by 20 percent following the disclosure a deal failed to be made. Does this mean the Ocean SUV could be delayed? Not necessarily. Fisker previously made it clear it continues to hold talks with other Tier 1 suppliers, such as Magna International, Inc., about its first production vehicle. VW isn't the only game in town, but the attraction of using its MEB platform is understandable.
But unless a deal can be made in the very near future, Fisker will have to shop elsewhere and strike a new arrangement relatively fast.