At the beginning of the year, Henrik Fisker said his eponymous company anticipated the Ocean battery-electric crossover entering production in November, first deliveries happening in early 2023. In the latest update during the Q3 earnings call with analysts, Fisker said everything is on track, the Ocean expected to start rolling down the production line at Magna Steyr’s facility in Graz, Austria on November 17. If that happens, then dealers would be handing over the first sets of keys to retail customers next February. Hitting the milestones might be a bigger pick-me-up for Fisker than the customers, showing the longtime design executive may finally have the right team in place to become a successful auto executive. There will be some hiccups, however. Automotive News reports the first Oceans will be delivered without some software features because Fisker doesn’t want to delay production while the coding is sorted.
Most of the omissions are from Fisker Intelligent Pilot, the advanced driver assistance suite. Affected units will not have automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keep assistance, which the company hopes to add with an over-the-air update early next year. Based on the production timeline, that could mean only the Fisker Ocean One, limited to 5,000 units and built into Q2 of next year, will be affected. Lane centering and traffic-jam assist are anticipated to come at the end of 2023. Cruise control is another casualty, unavailable until later next year. Fisker told Autonews he believes “There’s also, quite frankly, a lot of customers that may not care about it, so why wait to launch the vehicle? And you know you’re going to maybe get it three months, six months, nine months later.”
Based on the analyst call, Fisker Automotive is prepping for the trials of homologation in Europe and the U.S., and wants to do as much as possible at once instead of doing piecemeal software certifications. Delivering vehicles without certain software-enabled features that will be added later shouldn’t surprise anyone. Volkswagen did the same with the ID.3 launch. Meanwhile, the chip shortage convinced legacy OEMs to sell cars without features that couldn’t be added later.
Fisker’s production ramp-up for 2023 intends for Magna to build more than 300 units in Q1, more than 8,000 units in Q2, more than 15,000 units in Q3, and at least 19,100 units in Q4, making a total of 42,400 Oceans. As mentioned, the first 5,000 will be the Ocean One. After that, the series production top trim, the Ocean Extreme, will enter production. Fisker says it had more than 62,000 reservations at the end of Q3 this year, meaning the Magna lines are booked into 2024 assuming everything goes perfectly. In January 2023, the company wants to begin converting reservations for the Extreme into orders.