In a strategic move to broaden its sales and delivery network, electric vehicle manufacturer Fisker (NYSE:FSR) has announced plans to integrate dealerships alongside its existing direct-to-customer distribution model. This expansion aims to address distribution constraints and enhance accessibility for customers interested in Fisker’s electric vehicles (EVs).
Currently, Fisker has only two showrooms, known as Fisker Lounges, in North America—one in Los Angeles and another in New York. In other locations, the company operates retail stores named Fisker Center+. To bolster its presence and overcome distribution challenges, Fisker intends to bring on board up to 50 dealer partners in the United States and Canada. Simultaneously, a similar number of dealer locations will be established in Europe, where the company will continue direct sales while incorporating partners for sales and distribution.
Despite producing over 10,000 vehicles in 2023, Fisker faced delivery limitations, with approximately 4,700 Ocean sport utility vehicles reaching customers. The addition of dealerships is expected to facilitate smoother distribution and meet the growing demand for Fisker’s EVs.
Henrik Fisker, CEO of Fisker, mentioned, “We are evolving our business model and intend to add as many as 50 dealer partners in the US and Canada and a similar number of dealer locations in Europe this year.” The company anticipates sending its first Ocean vehicles to new dealers by the end of the first quarter, reflecting a proactive approach to expanding its market presence.
Fisker’s move follows the footsteps of other electric vehicle startups like Lucid (NASDAQ:LCID) and Rivian (NASDAQ:RIVN), all of whom initially adopted an online and direct-to-consumer model. This approach, popularized by Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), aimed to reduce reliance on traditional dealership models. By integrating dealerships into their distribution strategies, these companies aim to navigate distribution challenges and ensure a seamless buying experience for customers.
The shift towards a dealership model aligns with the broader trend in the electric vehicle industry, as seen with Vietnamese electric car maker VinFast Auto signing its first five dealerships in various U.S. states. The established Swedish EV maker Polestar also utilizes a dealership model, signaling a shift towards a more diverse and inclusive distribution network in the growing electric vehicle market.
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