Internal documents reveal EV startup Fisker’s struggle to meet sales targets

Fisker remains far from meeting CEO and founder Henrik Fisker’s publicly stated goal of delivering 300 electric SUVs per day globally, according to internal documents viewed by TechCrunch. The EV startup spent much of December aiming to meet an internal sales goal of between 100 and 200 vehicles a day in North America, where the bulk of its inventory and sales efforts are. Fisker is delivering its SUVs in a number of European countries, and contract manufacturer Magna Steyr builds them in Austria. Henrik Fisker told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that the lack of a physical footprint has harmed sales here. The slow pace of deliveries has widened the gulf between the amount of Fisker Ocean SUVs being produced by Magna and the number sold.

Fisker, the renowned electric vehicle startup, is still struggling to meet its ambitious goal of producing 300 electric SUVs globally every day, according to confidential documents obtained by TechCrunch.

The company’s internal records reveal that it had set a target of selling between 100 and 200 vehicles per day in North America, where most of its inventory and sales efforts are focused, in the month of December. However, Fisker fell short of this goal by a significant margin, often selling only one to two dozen of its popular Ocean SUVs per day, as per the documents provided by a trusted source who wishes to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of the information.

Fisker has been expanding its reach in several European countries, with its vehicles being manufactured by contract manufacturer Magna Steyr in Austria. However, the North American market has always been the company’s primary focus. Despite this, Fisker has not responded to a request for comment about its lackluster sales figures.

The documents also shed light on why the company has announced on Thursday that it is now seeking to partner with traditional car dealerships to sell its all-electric Ocean SUV in the U.S. This move marks a significant shift from Fisker’s original direct-to-consumer sales approach that it had touted since its initial public offering in 2020. These figures also contradict the company’s claims of “growing demand,” which it had proudly announced in its recent press release.

Initially, Fisker had plans to establish showrooms across North America as part of its direct sales model, but so far, it has only managed to open two flagship “Fisker Lounges.” Fisker himself has acknowledged that this lack of physical presence has negatively impacted the sales in the U.S., as he stated in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

However, Fisker is not the only electric vehicle manufacturer struggling to meet the demand for its products. In fact, carving out a market share and establishing a brand has been a challenge for every new player in the market. Even established names like Lucid have publicly admitted that their biggest hurdle after entering production has been marketing their luxury sedan. Furthermore, Rivian’s deliveries took a hit of 10% in the fourth quarter of 2022.

In October of the same year, Fisker had boasted of shipping over 1,200 Ocean SUVs worldwide, and on November 16th, it had even set a new record of delivering 107 vehicles in a single day, attributing the success to its “new distribution strategy.” However, as per the documents, it has since struggled to maintain that pace or meet its goals in December.

As a result of the slow pace of deliveries, the gap between the number of Fisker Ocean SUVs produced by Magna and those actually sold has grown significantly. To be precise, Fisker recently disclosed that Magna had built a total of 10,142 Oceans in 2022, yet only around 4,700 were delivered to customers.

The production at Magna started in November 2022, but Fisker did not commence deliveries until June 2023, leading to a delay in reaching the market. Additionally, there were also software issues with the first few vehicles, which further contributed to the delays. The company has also cited issues with one of its suppliers as a reason for the slower-than-expected rollout.

In early 2023, Fisker had boldly announced that it was expecting Magna to produce 42,400 Ocean SUVs. However, it was forced to revise that figure downwards multiple times over the course of the year, stating that it could only deliver around 10,000 vehicles in total for 2022 to manage its working capital. Despite the significant decrease, Henrik Fisker maintained a positive outlook in his public statements, stating that the company was still “ramping up sales and deliveries.”

Last week, Fisker revealed that the “majority” of the 4,700 vehicles sold in 2022 were of the top-tier Ocean One trim. In addition, the company has also shipped the first unit of its more affordable Ocean Sport trim to a customer in the UK.

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Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams is a multimedia storyteller with a background in video production and graphic design. He has a knack for finding and sharing unique and visually striking stories from around the world.

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