Henrik Fisker Has Something To Say About America's Franchise Laws

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Let freedom ring.

The Fisker Ocean has finally arrived. The all-electric premium compact crossover debuted this week at the 2021 LA Auto Show and was immediately one of the event's stars. The crowd surrounding the display vehicles took well over an hour to thin out after the sheets were pulled off. Founder and CEO Henrik Fisker could not have been happier. With a total of four trims on deck beginning at a very reasonable $37,499 before federal tax credits, the base 275-hp Sport model boasts an EPA-estimated range of 250 miles and a 0-60 mph time of 6.9 seconds. Not bad at all.

Reservations are already underway for all trims. Fisker is asking for a $250 deposit, of which all but 10 percent is refundable if the customer changes their mind, Mr. Fisker told CarBuzz at the show.

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He also had something to say regarding America's dealership franchise laws, something he's clearly no fan of. "So the way I look at it today - and somebody should say this and nobody said it yet - there are more EV companies in America than those traditional truck companies. That's true," he said. "So, somebody has to ask the question if the consumer wants to buy direct business [or at a dealer]. It's a free country."

Like Fisker, Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid all utilize the direct sales model that's not legal in all 50 states due to pressure from the powerful dealership lobby. Eventually, Fisker believes, they'll change as consumers are buying more and more products in general online.

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"There's a clear consumer demand. There's a new industry that's coming up and we aren't budging," he continued. "But there's a point with the consumers [when] they say 'Hold on a minute. Why do I have to [only buy cars at a dealer]? Why am I forced to do this?' It's just like you can go on Amazon and buy a pair of shoes or you can go to a store. That's your choice. And it's the same with a car."

Fisker is keenly aware there could be some legal battles ahead and the company has lawyers armed and ready. Selling direct is "the most efficient way" Fisker believes. He also won't rule out the possibility of working with those aforementioned rivals for the direct sales common goal nationwide.

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