When Ford announced its tie-up with Magna International to build an electric vehicle earlier this year, there was a lot to learn about how the auto industry as a whole can benefit from these kinds of partnerships. Now, in a three-part series (I, II, III) about Fisker Automotive's strategy, writer Nicolas Zart looks at the method by which Fisker will bring its Karma to the market.
Aside from using a very familiar picture and repeating himself at the top of each article in the series, Zart's article is worth reading for identifying some key differences between how the automotive start up is designing and building the car and how the many failed auto companies of the 20th Century tried to do it. One of those differences is that Fisker is using an Apple/Nike strategy and focusing on the design and the selling and not on owning or operating factories. Instead, as Henrik Fisker proudly told us in Detroit earlier this year, Fisker is partnering with Valmet Automotive in Finland to build the vehicles. Zart's point is that this strategy means Fisker has a good chance at success where so many others have failed through the years. Of course, Fisker is moving towards having its own factories here in the U.S. for future, cheaper models (see also, Tesla), so we'll soon have a chance to see if growing to be a bit more like the big boys is a good or bad move.