Where will the Ocean SUV be built?
The automotive business isn't easy, to say the least. Government-imposed safety and emissions regulations, manufacturing, and a global supply network all have to come together to make everything work, and it's not easy to do so. Never has been. These tasks are easier can certainly be easier for large automakers like Volkswagen and Toyota, for example, but far less so for smaller and start-up companies such as Fisker. As we already know, the Fisker Ocean all-electric SUV is slated to go on sale by the end of 2022.
The Los Angeles-based automaker founded by Henrik Fisker recently announced plans to issue an IPO through a merger with a private equity firm. It's also holding discussions with the VW Group regarding gaining access to the latter's MEB electric vehicle platform. The Ocean needs a basic architecture and this platform, which also underpins the VW ID.4, could be ideally suited for the task.
Those negotiations are still ongoing but both sides hope to reach an agreement in the near future. But there's still one unanswered question: where will the Ocean be built and who will do it?
According to Reuters, Fisker and Canadian auto parts supplier Magna International have reached a tentative deal that will see Magna Steyr build the Ocean at its Graz, Austria plant beginning in late 2022. A definitive agreement is hoped to be reached "in the next few months." The report adds Fisker confirmed these discussions while Magna refused to comment any further. Fisker also said the two companies were exploring "manufacturing options for the United States and China" as well.
Assuming Fisker is still aiming for that late-2022 launch, both the VW and Magna deals will have to be finalized in the relatively near future. Unfortunately for Fisker, it doesn't have many platform options aside from VW's MEB.
General Motors has begun rolling out its next generation of EVs, starting with the Cadillac Lyriq, but it's highly doubtful it'd be interested in working with Fisker, at least at this time. It's probably the same deal with Ford and its Mustang Mach-E. What makes VW different in this case? Apparently it's keen to strike deals and partnerships to help lower its own costs. Selling the rights to various components of the MEB setup is a quick income source.
UPDATE: Fisker reached out to CarBuzz following the original publication of this article and stated the following:
"Fisker has officially stated that we are looking at several platforms for our Fisker Ocean and upcoming additional vehicles. We have not decided which platform to use as we are still finalizing diligence this month. We expect to make a final decision in the next few months. Some of the choices we have are not publicly announced or revealed."