Are Foxconn and Fisker making the ‘Apple of autos’ for Apple?

Apple’s automotive partners could be hiding in plain view.

apple fisker foxconnFrom MarketWatch’s “Fisker, Foxconn deal brings focus to EV maker’s ‘Apple of autos’ strategy” posted Wednesday:

Fisker Inc. stock jumped more than 20% on Wednesday as Wall Street viewed the deal with electronics heavyweight Foxconn Technology Group as a step toward diversifying the electric-vehicle maker’s production and its strategy of becoming the “Apple” of autos…

The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to make more than 250,000 vehicles a year, with Fisker Chief Executive Henrik Fisker saying that the location could be the U.S.

My take: I’m just spitballing here. But Henrik Fisker is a car guy worth watching. Among other things, he designed the BMW Z8, Aston Martin DB9, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Fisker Karma, Galpin-Fisker Mustang Rocket, VLF Force 1 V10, VLF Destino V8, Fisker EMotion, Fisker Ocean, and Fisker Orbit. He also designed the Viking motorcycle and Benetti Fisker 50 superyacht, and is involved in the design of flexible solid-state battery technology.

Elon Musk sued him in 2008, claiming he stole Tesla trade secrets. Fisker won that case, and Tesla was ordered to pay $1.1 million in court fees.

16 Comments

  1. Jerry Doyle said:
    There are scenarios being played out that are puzzling. A friend of the blog sent me a YouTube clip of automotive engineer tear down specialist Sandy Munro being interviewed on his thoughts of Tesla advance lead over other EV manufacturers. When questions were asked tangentially relative to other established players including the traditional car companies Sandy weighed in without hesitation. When the interviewer asked Sandy about a proposed Apple car he paused in an awkward manner, lost for words on how to respond and then just blurted out “I can’t discuss Apple.” It was not a polished response for a man who should have known the question was coming. The interviewer pressed forward after discerning that he had hit on something and Sandy actually blushed profusely, stammered, and declined to answer saying, “I can’t talk about Apple.”

    As far as Foxconn’s role in EVs and its working relationship with Apple, my first thoughts had to do with IP.

    6
    February 25, 2021
    • Jerry Doyle said:
      Relative to my comment above on Sandy’s response, here is my thought: Sandy must have torn down an Apple Car prototype.

      2
      February 25, 2021
      • Roger Schutte said:
        Here’s a link to the video Jerry was talking about where Sandy Munro was very serious about a likely NDA. Replace the dots and go to 58:00 – wwwdotyoutubedotcom/watch?v=1sLOKHW3ILQ

        0
        February 26, 2021
  2. Brian Loftus said:
    More likely he is a paid consultant.

    2
    February 25, 2021
  3. Rick Povich said:
    Fisher has put together some pretty impressive vehicles that seem to fit the Apple design aesthetic. The Z-8 looks very similar to the Karma pictured above. This seems to me to be a more logical design partner.

    0
    February 25, 2021
  4. Gregg Thurman said:
    Didn’t Fisker arrive unannounced at the1 Infinity Loop campus with his EV, in an attempt to meet with Cook a while back?

    0
    February 25, 2021
  5. Gregg Thurman said:
    My only complaint about the car above is that it’s a 4 door sedan designed with the roofline of a sports car. How are people supposed to get in and out of it? Passenger cars should not be designed using a wind tunnel.

    I sure miss the family’s 1956 Oldsmobile. Getting in and out of that was a breeze.

    1
    February 25, 2021
    • David Emery said:
      It’s a family sedan, kids in the back 🙂

      0
      February 25, 2021
    • Bart Yee said:
      Greg, with all due respect, the 1956 Oldsmobile, even the 4 door, still had a sloping rear entry line that restricted entry to the rear seat. You may recall the ease of entry because you were 65 years younger (I was only 1 years old) so getting in and out as a child or young teen would have been easier. I don’t know that we can link pics but from Google images, the roof line still requires a bit of a duck under the curve for adults.

      http://classiccardb.com/uploads/postfotos/1956-oldsmobile-98-holiday-4-door-hardtop-1.jpg

      The Fisker above is a 4 door sports sedan, so set up for low aerodynamic drag and reasonable entry for a luxury car. A Porsche Panamera has a little bit easier entry by the look of it. Perhaps a more amenable design would be a crossover or full size SUV EV model from Apple, likely to be part of the lineup for US consumer tastes and body sizes.

      0
      February 25, 2021
        • Bart Yee said:
          The ’56 Olds weighed roughly 4000 pounds, had a coefficient of drag (CD) of ~0.55, 240hp / 350ft-lb torque, 324 CID/5.3 liter V8, probably got around 14-16 mpg on very cheap gas back then, so roughly like a big SUV or minivan today. Today’s vehicles have CD’s down in the low 0.3-high 0.25+ (Porsche Panamera is 0.29-0.30 depending on tire width and ride height). The Panamera gas mileage for a 2.9L V6 (330HP, 330 ft-lb torque) is 19/27, 22 combined, the GTS twin turbo 4.0L V8 is 16/23, 19 combined, 453HP/457 lb-ft torque for a curb weight “Higher” at 4600 lbs. than the Oldsmobile. So almost double the power using 20% less engine size but turbo’ed, and similar gas mileage. Its always a trade off for performance, fuel economy, aerodynamic drag and slipperiness, plus an attractive body style.

          0
          February 25, 2021
  6. Dan Scropos said:
    Perhaps I’m just out of the loop, but where is Jony Ive and what is he developing since he left Apple? It’s just odd to see someone so prolific just go away and not be heard from again. Is he secretly working on the Apple Car design? The magnitude of this project, should there actually be a physical model, would mandate one’s sole focus.

    4
    February 25, 2021
    • Jony Ives made me aware of Dieter Rams’ “Good Design Principles.” Ram designed Braun products, which I always buy when given the choice. Ulm School stuff.

      1
      February 25, 2021
  7. Ken Cheng said:
    Jony owned a couple Aston Martin DB9, but the first one almost killed him in a crash, according to CultofMac.com.

    1
    February 25, 2021
  8. Steven Philips said:
    Cars don’t kill, people kill! 🙂
    Personally I think the Karma and Z-8 designs are ugly.
    Get the Italians involved!
    Ferrari F8! That’s beautiful!

    1
    February 25, 2021
    • Tommo_UK said:
      @Steven I used to have an F355 GTS. My favourite car ever. Every time I turned on the ignition I felt I was racing in Monaco. Enjoyed many European and alpine road trips in that beauty. The last V8 Ferrari with simple clear beautiful lines without sitting on haunches too wide and a bit of an attitude problem.

      0
      February 25, 2021

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