Fisker has recruited a former top manufacturing executive at Toyota and Volkswagen to help lay the groundwork for production of an electric SUV to rival the Tesla Model Y.
The EV startup on Friday announced that it has hired Don Jackson as senior adviser of manufacturing. In this role, he will lead manufacturing strategy, including locating a site, for the SUV which Fisker hopes to launch by the second half of 2021.
Jackson is the founder of Jackson Management Group, a consulting firm that specializes in lean manufacturing. Prior to this, he was president of manufacturing at Volkswagen of America and president of quality and production at Toyota's operations in Texas.
Fisker aims to build its SUV in the United States, with California, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia on the list of potential sites.
Teaser for Fisker electric SUV
The SUV will be priced under $40,000, Fisker promises, though it could end up higher than the $40K mark with destination attached. Tesla's Model Y starts at $39,000 but actually stickers at $41,200 once you add destination.
Fisker bills the SUV as one of three “affordable models.” The other two will follow the SUV and then Fisker will finally launch its EMotion sedan, which was shown as a concept in 2018 and is to serve as a flagship for the brand. Fisker has said the EMotion will retail for around $130,000.
The EMotion was originally due in 2019 but its launch has been delayed until Fisker has developed its own solid-state battery capable of delivering a 500-mile range. The affordable models, including the SUV, will use conventional lithium-ion batteries and offer at least 300 miles of range.
“Don has lead operations for the largest OEMs, raising the bar in vehicle quality and reliability,” Fisker CEO and Chairman Henrik Fisker said. “We are delighted to have him join our team as we ramp up toward launch in 2021 and prepare to bring a more emotion-stirring, American-made EV design to people worldwide.”