Fisker to sell electric SUV in India in terms of local production, according to Reuters


© Reuters Photo File: Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker Fisker unveiled the Ocean at the LA Auto Show on November 17, 2021 in Los Angeles, California, USA. REUTERS/Mike Blake


By Aditi Shah

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – U.S. start-up Fisker Inc will start selling its Ocean electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) in India next July and may begin manufacturing the cars locally within a few years, the company’s chief executive told Reuters.

Sales of electric cars in India will pick up speed in 2025-26, Henrik Fisker said in an interview in New Delhi, the company wants to get the first mover advantage.

“Eventually, India will be completely electrified. It may not go as fast as the US, China or Europe, but we want to be the first to get into it,” Fisker said.

Electric cars currently account for just 1 percent of India’s roughly 3 million annual car sales, with inadequate charging infrastructure and high battery costs partly responsible for the slow transition.

The government, which wants to increase this share to 30 percent by 2030, is giving companies billions of dollars in incentives to build EVs and related components locally.

Fisker’s rival Tesla (NASDAQ: ) Inc has put its Indian entry plans on hold after failing to secure lower import tariffs for its cars. Like Fisker, he first wanted to import vehicles to test the market before committing to local manufacturing.

While Fisker admits that importing vehicles to India is “expensive”, the company wants to use Ocean to build the brand, saying the premium price may limit numbers.

The Ocean retails for around $37,500 in the United States, but importing it to India will incur logistics costs and 100% import tax. That puts it out of reach for most buyers in a market where most cars sell under $15,000.

“Ultimately, if you want to have a little bit of volume in India, you have to start building a vehicle here or at least do some assembly,” Fisker said.

The company’s next EV — the small, five-seater PAR — is being considered for production in India, but not before 2026, he said.

“If we can get that vehicle under $20,000 in India, that would be great. Then I think we’ll get some volume and market share,” he said, adding that if they find the right local partner, the timeline could help. Being short.

To install a plant in India, at least 30,000 to 40,000 cars per year, Fisker said.

The company has not commented directly on the amount of investment it considers necessary, but has said it will spend $800 million in India to set up a factory with an annual capacity of 50,000 cars.

Fisker has a contract manufacturing agreement with Magna International (NYSE: ) Ocean manufactures at its Austrian unit and exports to India. It also has an agreement with Foxconn to build PAR.

The company is looking for real estate space to open a New Delhi showroom and is also tying up auto component suppliers for its global production, he said.

“We are still starting to build some relationships,” he said.

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