Home » The First Customer-Spec Fisker Ocean Has Been Delivered Thanks To The Benefits Of Contract Manufacturing

The First Customer-Spec Fisker Ocean Has Been Delivered Thanks To The Benefits Of Contract Manufacturing

Fisker Ocean Topshot
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It’s official: Fisker has delivered the first Ocean crossover to a customer in Denmark. The marque’s first entry into the EV crossover marketplace is yet to be certified for American sales, but it’s good to go in Europe. As such, another EV startup has completed the rare leap from concept to reality without getting bogged down in the vaporware quagmire. For some, this takes a decade. For Fisker, only seven years.

Fisker Ocean 1

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

So how did Fisker do it so quickly? Well, experience helps. Henrik Fisker styled the BMW Z8 and helped style the Aston Martin DB9, two of the coolest cars of the 2000s. Fisker then went into coachbuilding before launching Fisker Automotive, the company that made the Karma. While Fisker Automotive never worked out, all of the lessons learned over decades in the automotive industry combined with changing tides of propulsion mean that Fisker, Inc. just might.

In addition, Fisker stacked the deck by taking in-house production out of the equation, a move we’re likely to see more of from various EV startups in the future. Just like how Apple doesn’t actually make your iPhone, many EV startups won’t actually make their own cars. They’ll do the engineering and design, but the assembly will be handed off to a contract manufacturer like Magna, the company that’s building the Ocean.

Fisker Ocean Interior

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Magna was a smart bet, given its very established track record building cars for other people. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is built by Magna, as is the Toyota GR Supra, and the Jaguar I-Pace. Magna Steyr also built the original BMW X3, the Peugeot RCZ, and the Pinzgauer. Exactly the sort of robust track record you’d want when choosing a contract manufacturer.

What’s more, Fisker doesn’t even use its own platform for the Ocean. It’s built on an existing Magna platform, powered by batteries from CATL. Again, none of these are bad things as they’re all made by established players which means Fisker could speed up its engineering process. The asset-light approach lets Fisker keep things moving without sinking huge sums into manufacturing, since actually building cars has proven to be a stumbling block for EV startup after EV startup.

Fisker Ocean 2

Of equal importance is Fisker’s approach. Instead of showing off a future model years in advance (hello, Tesla), it unveiled the Ocean at CES in January of 2020. At the time, the plan was to put it into production by the end of 2022, but then a little something called COVID happened, along with some reported production delays. As Patrick George wrote for The Verge:

Earlier this year, Fisker faced a choice between delaying production to correct software issues related to its driver-assistance system or going ahead and fixing the software later on. It chose the latter. Some early Ocean models will receive over-the-air updates early next year.

Still, production kicked off near the end of 2022, and now the first one has made it into customer hands. That’s about as on-time as you can reasonably expect during a global pandemic, and it meant that the Ocean didn’t really risk running stale.

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Fisker Pear

With Ocean deliveries underway in Europe and the regulatory ball rolling in America, Fisker’s next big feats will be selling the Ocean in American and bringing the ambitious $29,900 PEAR crossover to market. That entry-level electric crossover is set to be built in Ohio by Foxconn, the same company that makes a massive number of iPhones. Contract manufacturing, am I right?

(Photo credits: Fisker)

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BOSdriver
BOSdriver
1 year ago

I think these EV designers think they need to overthink the interior design. I appreciate the cleanliness but is just doesn’t feel special. I bet because they optimize the exterior so much for aero that they can only ever tweak light designs going forward, or risk a worse drag coefficient, that they are purposefully making the interiors bland so the 2nd gen version has a strong selling point.

Myk El
Myk El
1 year ago
Reply to  BOSdriver

My feeling is they are disguising cost-savings as style decisions. Some do better at it than others.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
1 year ago

I like the “even the tiny windows roll down” concept.

I do not like that screen however. I’m don’t usually care to complain about massive tablets glued to the dash, but holy crap does that thing dominate the interior.

MkeZ
MkeZ
1 year ago

I love opening back windows… mostly for home improvement runs…

ProudLuddite
ProudLuddite
1 year ago

It pretty much looks like every other SUV out there, but with a weird rear end and window treatment, including some sheet metal where the rear side windows should be.

The Dude
The Dude
1 year ago

Lol it looks like they forgot about the interior then threw something together in 5 minutes.

Chronometric
Chronometric
1 year ago

Congrats to Fisker but its just a drop in the ocean.
I remain skeptical. Fisker has often been shown to be all wet.
My the depths to which I will sink for a pun.
Sorry, I’m a little salty today.

BrakShowStarringBrak
BrakShowStarringBrak
1 year ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Making all those sea puns was nautical thing to do, man.

James Davidson
James Davidson
1 year ago

The Ocean feels like a cleaner design, but with something of the side profile of a Volvo XC60. The rearmost side windows are even a little reminiscent of the C30. A clean sheet but with design language from Volvo is not a bad thing, witness the Polestar 2 and 3. Let’s hope they are not eventually all orphan cars like the Fisker Karma.

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
1 year ago

I hope they make it. I live near the Foxconn plant in Ohio–it was formerly owned by GM to produce the Cruze. It hurt our local economy to lose that plant and Lordstown Motors is shitting the bed, so hopefully the Pear works

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 year ago
Reply to  Dinklesmith

Hasn’t Lordstown been painting the sheets brown for literally years by now? Do they even have product?

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
1 year ago

They produced 40 trucks and now are begging for money because Foxconn stopped funding them
I was glad to see Foxconn buy the plant. I have a lot more faith in them. That said, the electric tractor and the Fisker product that they’ll be building aren’t exactly blue chip sales prospects

MiniDave
MiniDave
1 year ago

I see no compelling reason to buy this very generic blob of an SUV thingy over any of the other electric SUV thingys currently on the market….and I’d like to hear what the Autopian’s tame designer thinks of the way they handled the rear 3/4 design of this…..cause it looks a mess to my eye. And the interior is as plain and boring as it can be……

Last edited 1 year ago by MiniDave
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 year ago
Reply to  MiniDave

Disagree, I think it’s cute and has personality, especially with the dog in it showing off the rear window opening.

EXL500
EXL500
1 year ago
Reply to  MiniDave

The rear small windows are designed so that the the CUV has the “California option”…all the windows in the vehicle can be powered open at once. Whether that’s a good or bad idea I’ll leave to someone else’s opinion.

Ron888
Ron888
1 year ago
Reply to  MiniDave

The back’s definitely odd huh.Several weird things happening at once.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
1 year ago

Contract manufacturers and especially Magna -Steyr are used by every company for a portion of their vehcicles and by some for all of them. Magna-Steyr has built minis in the past. Its a way to augment your manufacturing or in this case to handle it.

Sklooner
Sklooner
1 year ago

Foxconn will probably have an assembly line previously dedicated to Lordstown open

EXL500
EXL500
1 year ago
Reply to  Sklooner

They likely can’t wait to get what looks like a superior product to replace it.

Detroit-Lightning
Detroit-Lightning
1 year ago

Saw one with a mfr. plate in Metro Detroit the other day – a lot smaller than I expected.

I’ll be interested to see what happens with fisker – the only reason they have any hope at all is Magna.

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
1 year ago

I wonder if that was the Pear since that’s the compact

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
1 year ago

So Fisker (apparently) learned from his misadventures in bolting the things together. Doing the design work, which the guy is brilliant at, while having people with established plants and decades of experience bolting cars together handling those things doing what they are brilliant at works. Go figure.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 year ago

So a Magna designed by Fisker? I wonder how much the price will be after everyone takes a bite out of the pie. I get using an experienced car builder but an experienced phone builder? Not sure thats a plus.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mr Sarcastic
Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Foxconn: We have experience snapping together small lithium powered things. We’re about to get a working car factory with the kinks worked out. The area has people experienced in bolting cars together. What could go wrong?

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Magna-Steyr built the Mini as well, do you say its a Magna Mini designed by BMW?

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 year ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

“Magna” and “mini” cancel out, so it should have been named “medium.”

Iain Tunmore
Iain Tunmore
1 year ago

How much does a manufacturer pay a subcontractor to handle the manufacturing?

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
1 year ago
Reply to  Iain Tunmore

I have to figure it’s the subcontractor’s cost plus a profit margin.

Of course, the sub’s costs are likely way lower than they would be for the designer to stand up the manufacturing capability on their own, so even with the sub taking a cut it’s likely more affordable that way.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 year ago

Ah, so they’re using Magna this time and not Valmet.

Another contract mfr is NedCar, a Dutch one.

There needs to be an American contract car mfr…

CSRoad
CSRoad
1 year ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

“There needs to be an American contract car mfr…”
Well Magna is pretty close with plants in US, Canada and Mexico.
I’m sure with enough volume they will adapt to fit.

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
1 year ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Let me get on the horn with Beau…

Gee See
Gee See
1 year ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Magna is owned by a Canadian family called the Stronachs, they are pretty much as “American” you can get. They are also big in horse race tracks in the States.

Fisker got literally burnt the first time around with the EV.. remember A123?

I mean these days everyone is related to everyone someway or the other.. eg Hyundai makes seats for Rivian. You have to pick and choose your battles unless you have super deep pockets.

I waiting for Musk to throw shade at Fisker, since they had pretty bad blood before.

Last edited 1 year ago by Gee See
Bork Bork
Bork Bork
1 year ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Valmet was supposed to make two other EVs but both of those went bankrupt this year. At least Lightyear managed over a month of production.

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