Fisker Won’t Get Reported Rescue Partnership With Nissan

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As Nissan outlines its plans for the immediate future, one thing is apparently not in the cards: a reported tie-up with Fisker Inc. that may have been a significant lifeline for the ailing EV startup.

According to regulatory paperwork filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today, Fisker received notice from “the large automaker” it was said to be in talks with “that the automaker [has] terminated the negotiations.” The document did not offer further details, except to say that Fisker “continues to evaluate strategic alternatives” that may include restructurings, additional capital, debt refinancing or some other means to stay afloat. The news was first reported by TechCrunch today. 

Though it was never officially confirmed by either automaker, the “large automaker” partner was widely reported to be Nissan. According to an earlier report from Reuters, Nissan was said to be interested in the Fisker Alaska concept as it seeks to break into the electric pickup truck market. Doing so would’ve given Fisker a much-needed financial lifeline. That story claimed more than $400 million would’ve gone to make the truck at one of Fisker’s U.S. plants, with Nissan getting its own version of the vehicle. 

But as InsideEVs also reported, the benefit to Nissan was far less obvious. Fisker’s “asset-light” business model means it contracts out with external partners to make its cars, like Austria’s Magna Steyr, which builds the Ocean crossover. That car uses a Fisker-owned version of Magna’s EV platform and the company buys CATL batteries, so it was tougher to see what unique setup Nissan was “getting” from such a deal.

A Fisker spokesperson told InsideEVs the company has no comment beyond the filing. The company halted trading after the news broke today, and it halted production on new vehicles earlier this month.  

Today’s news is another unfortunate development for Fisker, which in recent months has struggled with deliveries and high-profile quality issues, including one especially scathing high-profile YouTube review. 

While many Ocean owners who spoke to InsideEVs said they loved the cars aside from the bugs, the company’s future feels more in doubt than ever after today’s news. One analyst had grim things to say to Reuters today: “I can’t put it if it is next week or next year, but it is inevitable,” Thomas Hayes, Chairman at hedge fund Great Hill Capital, said when asked about the possibility of Fisker filing for bankruptcy protection.

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