Good afternoon all,
A lot of odd things have taken place during this pandemic.
One of the strangest developments has come in the world of electric vehicles, with Tesla leading the way.
The California company struggled with production of the $40,000 Tesla 3 but is now mass-producing the vehicle that goes head to head with luxury compact cars from Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Audi, etc.
In Delaware, Tesla has operated a gallery in Christiana Mall and a maintenance center at a former tire and vehicle repair center in Stanton that in short order could be converted into a conventional dealership. That won’t happen as sales and leasing have moved online.
Tesla’s stock price has been skyrocketing and investors have taken notice.
Rivian, a well-funded venture that plans to build the first electric pickup truck raised another $2.5 billion. Earlier, Nikola, another start-up, had a successful stock offering. Nikola plans to roll out its own pickup truck and a over-the-road truck tractor that uses hydrogen fuel cells.
Finally, we have the successor to a company that does not bring back pleasant memories for Delawareans.
Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp. a company-sponsored by equity investor Apollo Global Management, Inc. engineered a deal that will result inFisker Inc. becoming a publicly listed company valued at $2.9 billion.
The proposed transaction is anticipated to provide Fisker the necessary funding to bring its first vehicle into production in late 2022.
As you might remember, Henrik Fisker’s first company, Fisker Automotive, went belly up, leaving Delaware at least $20 million poorer after the feds pulled the plug on their loan. Fisker planned to build a $40,000 hybrid electric-gas vehicle.
Fisker went into Chapter 11 and was purchased by China-based parts-maker Wanxiang, which later sold off the Boxwood site that had been slated to manufacture the vehicle. The site was later sold and will be the site of a new Amazon fulfillment center.
Wanxiang retreated to California and revamped Fisker’s one vehicle, the Karma into a luxury hybrid The company reportedly supplied more funding for the Karma vehicle unit, which laid off workers during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Henrik, a master salesman with an eye for automotive design, dusted himself off and went to work on an electric vehicle.
After first claiming a breakthrough in battery technology and rolling out some concepts, Fisker settled on a battery-powered SUV with a more or less conventional design.
Negotiations are now said to be underway with Volkswagen on buying its already developed battery and chassis system. The vehicle will not be built in Fisker’s own assembly plant this time around.
Going more mainstream was apparently enough to convince Apollo to engineer the deal.
Now Henrik and private equity guys, if we could get that money back, all would be forgiven. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.