The car manufacturing industry will be “revolutionised” by the introduction of processes from the consumer electronics sector, said Foxconn, Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) the iPhone main manufacturer, as it agreed a new deal with startup Fisker Inc (NYSE:FSR).
Fisker and Foxconn have struck a deal to co-develop a new “breakthrough electric vehicle” and manufacture at least a quarter of a million per year within the next two years.
Shares in Fisker, which listed via a merger with SPAC Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp last year, shot up 23% to US$20.07 on Wednesday morning trading in New York.
Los Angeles-based Fisker is led by Danish designer Henrik Fisker, a former sports cars designer for Aston Martin and BMW whose Fisker Automotive was an initial rival of Tesla’s before running out of cash in 2013.
The Fisker Ocean SUV, the company’s first car, is due to begin production in Europe with Canadian car manufacturer Magna in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Under the memorandum of understanding with Foxconn announced on Wednesday, Fisker is looking to develop a second EV model, codenamed “Project PEAR”, which stands for personal electric automotive revolution.
Foxconn chairman Young-way Liu said the consumer electronics contract manufacturer’s participation in the electric vehicle industry “delivers a refreshing thrust” and “will revolutionize the automotive industry model by introducing ICT capabilities – which help automakers accelerate their transition to new, innovative, and efficient manufacturing processes and business models”.
In terms of developing the key components of electric vehicle development, namely the electric motor, control module and battery, he said Foxconn, which has previously struck deals with Chinese car maker Zhejiang Geely and EV specialist Byton, already has “two major advantages in this regard, with an exceptional vertically integrated global supply chain and the best supply chain management team in our industry”.
Young-way said the deal with Fisker “means that it will only take 24 months to produce the next Fisker vehicle – from research and development to production, reducing half of the traditional time required to bring a new vehicle to market”.
“We created our company to disrupt every convention in the auto industry,” said Fisker, who is chairman and CEO of his eponymous company.
“The creation of Project PEAR with Foxconn brings together two likeminded and complementary companies, each focused on creating new value in a traditional industry. We will create a vehicle that crosses social borders, while offering a combination of advanced technology, desirable design, innovation and value for money, whilst delivering on our commitment to create the world’s most sustainable vehicles.”