Electric-vehicle startup Fisker opens dedicated operational areas within contract manufacturer Magna’s plant in Graz, Austria.
Key installations include manufacturing engineering, prototype production and an on-site Fisker program office supporting kickoff of the prototype-build phase.
Production of customer-ready units of the battery-electric Fisker Ocean SUV is on track to begin Nov. 17, 2022, at Magna’s carbon-neutral facility, Fisker says in a news release. The Ocean is to enter the U.S. market at a base price of $37,499 excluding EV-related subsidies, and below €32,000 ($37,900) in Germany including taxes and EV-related subsidies.
Fisker and Magna in October signed a long-term manufacturing agreement that covers critical planning and launch phases, planned volumes, manufacturing costs and quality metrics over the program’s lifecycle through 2029. The agreement also underpins all facility investments, including body shop.
At the time, Fisker said it would leverage a Magna-developed EV architecture, combined with Fisker intellectual property, to finalize a new lightweight aluminum-intensive FM29 platform for the Ocean and potential future vehicles. Under the partnership, Magna is to be issued warrants to purchase up to 6% of Fisker capital stock.
Fisker said its design, engineering and software teams would integrate Magna’s EV architecture with the Ocean’s exterior styling.
“The Ocean program continues to progress exactly how we forecast,” says CEO and Chairman Henrik Fisker (pictured below, left), who was onsite in Graz with teams from engineering, manufacturing, purchasing and quality to review the new facilities.
“Seeing areas such as prototype manufacturing and testing facilities ready for the Ocean was a motivating sight for everyone at Fisker and Magna. Having the confidence that the Ocean will launch on time with outstanding quality continues to validate our asset-light strategy and specifically, our partnership with Magna.”
Co-located teams from Fisker and Magna covering areas including manufacturing engineering and purchasing are situated in a dedicated program office close to engineering, the prototype shop and future production areas for body-in-white, the paint shop and general assembly.
The engineering center and prototype shop will drive the first build phases for the Ocean. The prototype facility, which has a capacity of about 1,500 vehicles per year, will enable the prototype build phase to be carried out using serial production conditions, helping to train the production team and ensure a smooth transfer to the serial production line.
The Ocean also will benefit from the extensive testing facilities at Graz, including those for durability, NVH, climate extremes and a test track, Fisker says.
The Graz facility owned by Canada-based Magna has assembled more than 3.7 million vehicles – 30 different models under contract with global brands including BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar.