Fisker CEO: No Change In Plans On Building Pear In Lordstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio –Fisker Inc. Chairman and CEO Henrik Fisker said Wednesday that everything remains on track to produce its Project Pear electric-vehicle at the Lordstown Assembly plant.

“There has been no change in our conversations or planning,” Fisker told analysts during a conference call discussing the EV automaker’s first-quarter earnings.

Last week, Lordstown Motors Corp. and Foxconn agreed to extend a deadline to May 14 that calls for Foxconn to purchase the Lordstown Motors manufacturing plant.

Foxconn has signed a contract manufacturing agreement with Fisker to produce the Pear, and would manufacture the vehicle out of the Lordstown facility.

Fisker said engineers that were engaged in development of the Fisker Ocean – the all-electric SUV set for production in Europe in November – have started to transfer to the Pear project.

“This program is in full speed,” Fisker said. “We can now divert a lot of these extremely talented people over to the Pear program.”

Project Pear, as it is tentatively called, has not been revealed to the public. During his last call with analysts Feb. 16, Fisker reported that reservations had surpassed 1,000 for the vehicle.

The company said that as of Wednesday, more than 2,500 have placed reservations for the unseen EV, scheduled for production sometime in 2024. Fisker said the company is “not actively promoting the Pear” as of now. “We’re simply holding the reservations and requests of some enthusiasts who wanted to make sure they were first in line.”

Pear is an acronym for Personal Electric Automotive Revolution, and the company has now signed off on the vehicle’s design concept.  The Pear will consist of at least three versions and Fisker anticipates production could reach one million units by 2027.

This one million mark, Fisker clarifies, takes into consideration projected global demand for the Pear. 

Although the 6.2 million square-foot Lordstown plant has the capacity to produce potentially 500,000 vehicles per year, not all of the manufacturing would be done in Ohio, he said. “What I understand is that we have clear priority, and will take the vast majority of the volume of that plant.”

The Lordstown plant is currently building pre-production vehicles of the Lordstown Motors Endurance, an all-electric pickup truck that is scheduled to begin limited production in September.

Production of the Pear would also occur in Europe and Asia – especially China and potentially India, he said.

“It’s an important story for Fisker,” he said.

Fisker calls the Pear a “revolutionary” vehicle intended for high-volume production, but the company has released few details of the small car. 

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Geeta Gupta-Fisker told analysts the concept phase of the vehicle is complete, and the team is looking at areas in which content could be shared between the Ocean, its first vehicle, and Pear.

Gupta-Fisker also noted that although the deadline for an asset purchase agreement between Lordstown Motors and Foxconn is delayed, Foxconn has “assured us the deed closing is on track.”

Meanwhile, the EV company is preparing for the launch of the Ocean on Nov. 17. To date, the vehicle has attracted 45,000 reservations worth about $2.5 billion in potential revenue, Fisker said. By the end of the year, he anticipates reservations to fall somewhere between 65,000 and 75,000 pre-orders.

The Ocean is under production at Magna’s manufacturing plant in Austria.  The high-volume of reservations, however, has convinced the company to triple production targets to 150,000 units in 2024.

“The demand for EVs is going to grow tremendously,” he said, citing high fuel and commodity prices.

Simultaneously, Fisker has announced the development of a luxury sports car, Ronin. Currently, the engineering and design for this vehicle is under development in the United Kingdom. Ronin is designed to hold the longest charge for an EV battery, allowing a vehicle to travel between 550 and 600 miles on a single charge.

All of this is part of Fisker’s “hyper-product development mode,” in which the automaker has models in various degrees of development at any given period.

“We have amazing manufacturing partners, and we’ve set up an organization that is geared to do several vehicles,” he said.

Fisker reported it ended the first quarter with slightly more than $1 billion in cash on hand.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.