(Bobit) — Fisker Inc. and its chief executive, famed vehicle designer Henrik Fisker, announced this week that the company will begin selling a $40,000 all-electric SUV in 2021. The news came as a surprise to industry watchers, who know Fisker for the sporty designs he created for Aston Martin, BMW, and others, leading up to the Fisker Karma, the ill-fated hybrid-electric first released in 2012, purchased out of bankruptcy by China’s Wanxiang Group in 2013, and currently sold as the Karma Revero.
In an interview with Bloomberg’s Hannah Elliott, Fisker said the SUV concept was a better fit for the current and near-future car-buying public and a faster path to profitability, which he predicted would be realized in the unnamed vehicle’s first year on the market.
“This time we wanted to go directly to a volume segment where we can have a long-term business where you can actually make money,” he said. “It’s about partnering in the right places, not spending hundreds of millions where you don’t have to. Now I have this experience and lessons learned and have figured out what is the best way to do this.”
But analysts, including Tim Urquhart of IHS Markit, cast doubt on Fisker’s chances, noting his history of failed ventures and the fact that Tesla’s $39,000 Model Y, also unveiled this week, is one of at least five direct competitors the new SUV will face. Audi and Jaguar already sell fully electric SUVs. BMW and Mercedes-Benz have launches planned for 2020.
“His past problems mean there’s a huge lack of momentum and credibility in the industry, in terms of what he can deliver on,” Urquhart said. “He’s already said he’s going to build a new sports car, now he’s turning around and saying the SUV will be first. The electrification looks impressive, but again, you need to deliver on these vehicles. We’ve already had a couple false starts.”
To read the Bloomberg article, click here.