Henrik Fisker knows there's plenty of baggage leftover from his first attempt at building a car, the Fisker Karma gasoline-electric luxury sedan, a decade ago.
Investors got burned. Jobs promised at a former General Motors plant in Delaware never materialized. Worse, the 2,450 or so cars that were built had more problems than a calculus textbook.
One chance is usually all anyone gets at starting a car company. But Fisker is getting another a shot. He's a raised a billion dollars through a special purpose acquisition company, or reverse merger, and he's signed a production contract with Canadian supplier Magna that will see the $37,499 Fisker Ocean electric crossover debut in the fourth quarter of next year, if the project remains on track.
I recently chatted with Fisker, now 57, for a half hour on a Zoom call — he ensconced in his sunny, airy Los Angeles headquarters, me in Detroit in full view of GM's giant downtown headquarters.
Although the Karma is far in Henrik Fisker's personal rearview mirror, its stylish specter still casts a large shadow over his current project. Fisker knows he's got to deliver a world-class vehicle right out of the box. He knows he's not going to get a third chance if the Ocean sinks.