Fisker On The Brink As NYSE De-Lists Stock Over ‘Abnormally Low’ Price

By automotive-mag.com 8 Min Read

Startup companies can be pretty risky, especially when those startups build cars. Investors chasing that Tesla money, though—that means making strategic bets and hoping a product not just makes it to market, but also thrives afterward. Fisker is one of those bets that many have sunk time and money into, and things aren’t exactly looking great.

Welcome to Critical Materials, your daily roundup for all things EV and automotive tech. Today, we’re talking about Fisker’s delisting from the stock exchange, Toyota’s plans for an electric Hilux pickup as early as next year, and GM pulling the plug on driver data sharing. Let’s dig in.

30%: Fisker’s Delisting from NYSE Signals More Troubles Ahead

Fisker has found itself in a bad place. The automaker was counting on a potential partnership with Nissan amid its planning for the future, however, that lifeline has fallen through and Fisker is not in great shape.

For investors, Fisker’s stock has nosedived. Shares have fallen to just $0.09 from the high of $28.50 in February 2021. In fact, the stock has been trading for under $1 since mid-January, which has finally triggered the New York Stock Exchange to move forward with delisting procedures following a halt in trading.

Delisting means Fisker stock will no longer trade on an exchange. Instead, stocks will be traded over the counter like other smaller companies that don’t meet listing requirements.

The delisting event will also trigger the requirement to repurchase some of the automaker’s convertible notes, which will likely be an issue for strapped-for-cash Fisker if its notes are demanded to be immediately paid in full.

From Fisker’s recently filed 8-K:

We do not currently have sufficient cash reserves or financing sources sufficient to satisfy all amounts due under the 2026 Notes or the 2025 Notes, and as a result, such events could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition

What’s worse is that owners seem to be stuck in vehicle limbo. Fisker has seemingly removed all of its vehicles from inventory and, according to owners waiting to take possession of their new cars, has halted all deliveries. Some of those who have planned to take delivery of their cars reportedly no longer have a delivery date and cannot schedule a new one.

Those who already have taken delivery in recent months may also be in for a potentially rocky time ahead given the company’s questionable future and parts availability. Some have already cut their losses and are seeing massive troves of depreciation (in some cases greater than 50%) after just months of ownership.

60%: Toyota Planning Electric Hilux in 2025, says Toyota Thailand

Toyota Hilux Revo BEV7

Toyota has been teasing the idea of an all-electric Hilux for a few years now and it looks as if the company is finally readying mass production as early as 2025.

Toyota Thailand President Noriaki Yamashita revealed the news to reporters during the Bangkok International Motor Show. Yamashita says the Hilux could be ready for mass production as early as next year.

We’ve known that Toyota has been working on an electric Hilux, but when it will be released remains unknown. Toyota flew the concept to Australia last year for some extreme condition testing, which hinted that Toyota was putting the truck through the wringer to make sure it held up to the Hilux’s legendary unkillable reliability

Yamashita did not specify any other details such as assembly location or price, but the news closely follows a report from the Thai government about Isuzu building its battery-electric D-Max pickup in Thailand, which has become an emerging vehicle manufacturing hub in recent years. Previous reports indicate that Toyota has also been preparing a trial of taxis built on an EV pickup platform in Thailand since last year.

There’s no word if the U.S. market could get the Hilux, but if the model’s market history is any indication, it’s more likely that the States will see an electric Tacoma rather than a Hilux. Perhaps the underpinning tech will eventually spread to a U.S.-bound truck, but if and when that would happen remains a mystery.

90%: GM Kills Data Sharing Program After Internet Backlash

Chevy Bolt Data Sharing

The internet has bullied General Motors into no longer sharing customers’ driving habits with data brokers.

Recent reports have scrutinized automakers for partnering with data brokers like LexisNexis to help build risk profiles on drivers. GM received the brunt of the blowback, especially as it was the focus of the initial New York Times report that criticized the practice where customers often unknowingly opted in (or may have been opted in without consent by dealerships) to OnStar Smart Driver. Data collected while this internet-connected feature was enabled was then beamed to brokers that build risk profiles based on their personal and driving data.

GM has now stopped this practice as of last week and has issued an official statement to the Times:

As of March 20th, OnStar Smart Driver customer data is no longer being shared with LexisNexis or Verisk. Customer trust is a priority for us, and we are actively evaluating our privacy processes and policies

It might be too late to repair all of that broken customer trust, though. Drivers across various brands are up in arms over their personal and driving data being shared (or sold). Many have begun requesting their information from these brokers to see exactly what is known about their lives. For some, it’s borderline invasive.

One Florida driver has already filed a lawsuit against LexisNexis and GM over his Cadillac XT6 effectively “spying” on him. The driver, like many others, feels that they were unknowingly enrolled into the data sharing feature of OnStar Smart Driver and have been wronged. The complaint is now seeking class-action status, which could spell bad news for GM and potentially other automakers for their role in the data collection and sharing.

100%: Is Buying a Cool Car From a Startup Worth the Risk?

2023 Fisker Ocean

The Fisker Ocean is a cool car on paper. There’s no denying that—just like the Rivian R3X, the Lucid Air, Lordstown Endurance, Aptera’s Solar EV, original Fisker Karma, Dyson EV, and other unreleased, at-risk, or defunct EVs.

Legacy automakers have the advantage of trust. The brands have been around for quite some time and their products are relatively tried-and-true. Those brands are often more conservative, though, releasing more finished features versus new startups that may promise the world and potentially underdeliver elsewhere.

That being said: is buying a cool car from a startup worth the risk to you? Let me know in the comments.

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