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Fisker claims 31,000 reservations for its Ocean SUV as production nears – TechCrunch

Fisker is still on track to start production of the Ocean SUV in November, with reservations for its first electric vehicle rising to 31,000, the company said on its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings call on Wednesday. .

The EV startup said prototype production had begun at the Fisker Ocean assembly plant, which is operated by automaker Magna Steyr’s plant in Graz, Austria. The facility will soon have the capacity to produce two prototypes per day to support its testing and validation program for global certification.

There are 1,600 fleet reservations for the Ocean, including an additional order for 200 units from software company ServiceNow.

Revealing the numbers in its earnings report, it appears the company has added around 6,000 bookings since the start of the year. Fisker reported $6.3 million in deposits at the end of 2021. Given that it charges $250 for Ocean SUV deposits, the company likely had around 25,000 reservations at the end of 2021. Fisker reports the rate of net daily retail booking in 2022 year-to-date. increased by more than 400% over the last fiscal year and is on track to reach more than 55,000.

According to CEO Henry Fisker, around 80% of Ocean bookings came from North America, with the rest coming from Europe, but the company expects that number to change when it launches in Europe. The company is heading to Mobile World Congress next week in Barcelona to launch the Ocean. Henrik Fisker said he expects Europe to account for 40-50% of total demand.

A survey of reservation holders conducted by the company in December 2021 showed that the majority, 81%, planned to buy one of the two best versions, the Ocean Ultra, priced at $49,999, and the Ocean Extreme/One, priced at $68,999. This implies an initial average sale price of approximately $56,000 and that current bookings have an indicative future gross revenue value of approximately $1.7 billion, based on the over 30,000 bookings.

The lower level version, the Ocean Sport, is priced at $37,499.

During the call, Fisker touted the company’s potential for market share in the “sexy, durable” category, saying there were no other competitors selling affordable electric vehicles, beautiful and high tech since most cars that come to market, including some from Fisker, are priced much higher.

“I challenge you to find a sexy, high-tech electric vehicle under $30,000,” Fisker said on the earnings call. “Now, with that in mind, think about what’s going to happen in the next two years. All that market share is going to be up for grabs. And if we want to have one of the few vehicles, we’ll have the ability to take a much larger market share than we normally would if you had 50 competitors, and we’re not doing that. All of these competitors that everyone is talking about are coming out with cars at $60,000, $70,000, $80,000 and more.

While Fisker was mostly referring to the potential of its Pear, an electric crossover that opened for reservations on Tuesday with a starting price of $29,000, it’s clear from Fisker’s Ocean reservations breakdown that current buyers are still more interested in seeking the highest form of luxury. available in an EV.

That said, even though the Pear has only been open for reservations for a day, it already has 1,000 registrations, according to Fisker.

The company announced the completion of the design phase of the Pear, which will be manufactured in partnership with Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn in Ohio at an expected annual volume of at least 250,000 per year after a ramp-up. complete.

“My goal is for us to eventually produce over a million pears a year sometime after 2025,” Fisker said. “Obviously, this will require several factories on several continents. But I think this vehicle has the potential to be iconic, globally. It is not designed to fit one segment, but to fit a future lifestyle.

The CEO cited the company’s deal announced in the third quarter of last year with battery cell maker CATL, which is expected to give Fisker an initial annual capacity of more than 5 gigawatt hours through 2025, with the potential to increase volumes.

Personal loans, warranties and powertrain development

Among other announcements during the earnings call, Fisker said it has named JPMorgan Chase in North America and Santander in Europe as banking partners for point-of-sale retail loans for all of its customers.

“Our teams are now deep into full system architecture and integration for a frictionless user journey from the ordering process to review creation, financing and ownership experience,” said Dr. Geeta Gupta-Fisker, co-founder, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Fisker.

The company also announced that it has “lighted up” its powertrain development center in Southern California, which will focus on everything from pack design to battery management system design.

“We have already built strong internal capacity in these areas, but we are expanding it and providing the technology and tools needed to increase expertise in this critical area,” Gupta-Fisker said. “The Center of Excellence will also be used for vehicle teardown benchmarking, as well as root cause analysis.”

Fisker’s finances

Fisker’s net loss in the fourth quarter was $138.4 million, a loss of $0.47 per share, or $0.01 above Street expectations, by Yahoo Finance. That fourth quarter loss widened from the prior quarter by $109.8 million, or $0.37, and a loss of $87.4 million, or 39 cents per share, in the same period l last year.

Fisker generated revenue of $41,000 in the fourth quarter – thanks to some merchandise sales – and $161,000 for the year. The cost of annual sales was $87,000.

As you would expect with a pre-revenue business trying to grow, it saw its operating expenses reach $$140.9 million in the fourth quarter, an increase of 368% over the $30.1 million spent in the same period last year. Capital expenditures were $52.6 million in the fourth quarter, according to the filing.

Operating losses totaled $133.4 million, an increase of approximately 22%. Similar to last quarter, Fisker is pumping money into R&D, spending $115 million in the fourth quarter, up from $99.3 million in the third quarter.

When we zoom out on full-year spending, Fisker spent $286.9 million on R&D, compared to $21 million in 2020, a typical turn for a pre-revenue and pre-production company. which is preparing to sell cars equipped with technologies like the ADAS system that it announced at CES with Magna.

As a result of this heavy spending, Fisker’s cash has shrunk slightly from $1.4 billion last quarter to $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter, but there is still a lot to play for since the company has not much to do in the long term. term debt. It has convertible notes, but these are likely to become equity over time.

The company says it has remained fairly disciplined on spending and therefore has the resources to fund the launch of the Ocean program in November and stay on track with other projects in 2022. However, after As Ocean ramps up in November, Fisker is developing “a very robust working capital model” and is in “discussions with several large on-balance sheet banks to access asset-backed lines of credit to fund business needs.” in working capital on an undiluted basis,” Gupta-Fisker said.

The company also relies on its access to industry-standard payment terms through numerous vendors and is open to raising funds again in public markets should it need to further strengthen its balance sheets, according to Gupta-Fisker. .

Fisker shares briefly hit $14 per share after hours, but stabilized at around $12.90 at the time of this writing, up nearly 2% today.