Fisker Soars as EV Deal With Foxconn to Include U.S. Factory

Fisker Inc.’s existing agreement to develop an electric vehicle with Foxconn Technology Group will now include a factory in the U.S.

The joint project -- codenamed Project PEAR -- is targeting a start of production in the U.S. by the fourth quarter of 2023, the companies said in a statement Thursday. The companies are considering multiple sites around the world to support eventual global manufacturing capacity of 250,000 units a year. The partners plan to unveil a prototype of their jointly developed car later this year.

Fisker climbed 11% to $11.01 at 9:40 a.m. Friday in New York after advancing as much as 18%, the most intraday in two months. The stock was down 32% this year through Thursday. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the main listed arm of Foxconn, is up 14% this year in Taipei.

Electric vehicles have risen in prominence in recent months, with everyone from established automakers like Geely to smartphone purveyor Xiaomi Corp. making big investments in the category. Foxconn has an EV platform that will be used to launch two light vehicles in the fourth quarter of this year, Chairman Young Liu said in February. The company has also inked a manufacturing deal with Chinese startup Byton Ltd. and been among a coterie of suppliers and assemblers linked with a potential Apple Inc. car.

Fisker is one of a wave of startups to go public via a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, and seek a fast-track challenge to Tesla Inc. in the EV market. It’s also the second battery-powered-car venture founded by its namesake founder and chief executive officer, Henrik Fisker, a longtime auto designer. Fisker’s first venture, Fisker Automotive, filed for bankruptcy in 2013.

Under the agreement, Fisker and Foxconn will jointly invest in Project PEAR -- short for Personal Electric Automotive Revolution -- with each company taking proceeds if the launch is successful. Spending on the partnership will be hefty. Liu told analysts on Friday that building 10,000 cars per month in the U.S. will require $1 billion of capital expenditure, though he declined to elaborate on how the two companies will split the costs.

Foxconn has said it will decide between Mexico and Wisconsin for the site of its first electric-car plant this year. The companies didn’t disclose any specifications of the vehicle they’re developing.

The companies said the jointly developed vehicle will be priced below $30,000. Taiwan-based Foxconn, best known for assembling iPhones, is the second major manufacturer with which Fisker has announced a partnership since reaching a deal to go public last year. In October, the EV startup said Magna International Inc. would help it build its debut model. The Ocean electric SUV is scheduled to start production in late 2022 at a Magna facility in Graz, Austria.

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