Fisker Is Adopting a Hybrid Approach to Selling Electric Vehicles

Jackson Wheeler
5 Min Read


  • Fisker adopts dealership partnership model in North America and Europe, with the first vehicles slated to reach dealers this spring.
  • The EV maker has relied on online sales and pop-up drive events, while maintaining just two permanent Fisker Lounges in the US, with one on each coast.
  • Fisker currently has a chain of company-owned stores, dubbed Center+ locations, in Europe, while also selling vehicles online.

Just like Tesla, Fisker has relied on online sales and a chain of company-operated stores, preferring the sleek interiors reminiscent of Apple stores with trained staff to the traditional dealership model.

The company has opened a flagship Fisker Lounge at The Grove in LA, an upscale shopping center, opened a second Lounge in New York, while also opening Center+ locations in a number of countries in western Europe. Fisker also maintains fulfillment centers where buyers, after having ordered their cars online, can pick up their vehicles or have an employee drive their car to their house instead of having it delivered on a carrier.

But now the EV startup is moving away from an exclusively company-owned store and online sales model, and will be adding franchised dealerships to its sales network with plans to add a total of about 100 in North America and Europe.

The first vehicles will be shipped to dealers by the end of the first quarter, the company said, after direct deliveries of the Ocean began in the US at the end of 2023.

“As we saw throughout 2023, the EV market has changed dramatically,” CEO and Chairman Henrik Fisker said.

“As a result, we are evolving our business model and intend to add as many as 50 dealer partners in the US and Canada and a similar number of dealer locations in Europe this year.”

Fisker plans to add stores in Tennessee, Arizona, New York, and Maryland in the near future.

Does this mean the company’s no-haggle approach will extend to franchised dealers, in what the company calls a hybrid of direct sales and dealer model?

Fisker says that no-haggle pricing will stay “where permitted,” but hasn’t indicated just which locations could feature a yes-haggle approach.

The company says it has been in discussions with dealerships since late 2023, hinting that the expansion of test drive opportunities was one of the motivating factors in pairing up with dealers.

Even with the addition of dealers, Fisker buyers will still be able to order cars online as well as have them delivered to their homes.

An underlying issue is that, unlike Tesla, Fisker does not have much of a store footprint in the US awith just two locations currently open, one on each coast. Fisker plans to add stores in Tennessee, Arizona, New York, and Maryland in the near future, with more locations in the works.

But with an online and store-based approach, even with pop-up events for test drives, there is obviously a limit to how easily Fisker can reach shoppers who might prefer a brick-and-mortar approach.

However, as Tesla has discovered (the hard way) over time, the service operations and the speed of their turnaround will ultimately matter more than a store footprint. If vehicles cannot be repaired in an agreeable timeframe or if service centers cannot get parts for weeks or months at a time, customer loyalty will fade pretty quickly.

It’s one thing to sell vehicles online, and quite another to keep them running and to keep owners happy.

Would you feel comfortable buying an EV online with or without having test-driven it, or do you still prefer a more traditional car buying experience? Let us know in the comments below.

Headshot of Jay Ramey

Jay Ramey grew up around very strange European cars, and instead of seeking out something reliable and comfortable for his own personal use he has been drawn to the more adventurous side of the dependability spectrum. Despite being followed around by French cars for the past decade, he has somehow been able to avoid Citroën ownership, judging them too commonplace, and is currently looking at cars from the former Czechoslovakia. Jay has been with Autoweek since 2013. 

Share This Article
Follow:
Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
Leave a comment