Fisker files for bankruptcy – what does it mean for you?

June 18, 2024 by

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Electric car maker Fisker has finally thrown in the towel and filed for bankruptcy, bringing the dream of its founder Henrik Fisker to an end. What does it mean for customers?

The company had already launched its Ocean SUV to great acclaim and had ambitious plans for a city car called the Pear and a large pick-up named Alaska. All were to be made by third party contractors, including Taiwan’s Foxconn which currently assembles Apple products. The Ocean was built in Austria by Magna Steyr, the same company which makes Jaguar’s I-Pace electric SUV. Production was ‘paused’ in March of this year.

What does this mean for current customers? And should you take advantage of the cut price stock to scoop up a bargain?

We’ve driven the Fisker Ocean – read our review here

Can I still buy a Fisker Ocean and are they cheaper?

Although the Fisker website lists plenty of brand-new stock for sale from its single remaining UK sales ‘Center’ in Milton Keynes, the site appears to be closed and did not respond to our messages. The prices on the website were at least £14,000 less than the original listed amount. Leasing companies have now removed the car from listings.

However, there are other independent dealers who bought the cars at an open auction and are offering Oceans with delivery miles for less than £25,000, making the Fisker cheaper than a new Fiat 500e.

What has happened to the values of the Ocean, and will they continue to fall?

We asked the experts from CAP hpi, who monitor the values of cars across the industry and predict future values. Dylan Setterfield, head of forecast strategy, said: “It wasn’t until the end of April that we started to see cars coming back into the used market in any kind of volume, and sales were clearly below market value. In early May, our used values reduced by an initial -23% and then by a further -10% mid-month and another -15% at the end of May as the vehicle continued to sell, but at a price – a cumulative reduction of -48% within a single month. That’s the biggest fall in memory.

“Following these used value falls, we reduced our three-year forecasts across the range by a further -31% on average at the end of May. There is the potential for some level of modest recovery or stabilisation in used values in the short to medium term after such large movements in a short period of time, but we do not expect them to come back to their previous position, and we continue to monitor the situation.”

Will I be able to insure a Fisker?

Yes, but there are some factors you’ll need to consider. Tom Banks, a spokesperson from Go.Compare car insurance, said: “Even if the company that manufactured your car goes bust, the good news is, provided your car stays roadworthy and meets the requirements set out by the insurer, you can still get insurance.

“However, it could be harder to get parts for your car, particularly if it’s a specialty vehicle like an EV. Insurers may consider this when offering a quote and this could affect the price. Some insurers may choose not to offer you a quote, and you could therefore be looking at more specialist companies, potentially with higher premiums.

“Also, if the market value of your vehicle changes due to the company’s status, this could potentially lead to smaller payouts in the event of a claim.”

Where can I get a Fisker serviced?

The company was in the process of recruiting a network of repair and servicing outlets and these are likely to still open for business, although they won’t be governed by Fisker directly.

When other car companies such as MG Rover and TVR have failed, independent garages have naturally filled the gap and specialists have evolved. This is likely to happen with Fisker too, although there are only around 200 Oceans in the UK so there won’t be such a demand.

Is the Fisker warranty going to be valid?

It is unclear if Fisker’s six-year warranty will be honoured, but it is certainly a risk to rely on it given the company’s financial situation. Buyers who scooped up the last remaining cars at a discount after April 2024 had to sign a disclaimer acknowledging that: “Buyers must expect a permanent loss of the enforceability of claims for material defects and warranty claims….and nevertheless wishes to purchase a Fisker Ocean in view of the risk described.”

Third party warranty suppliers will offer cover though. Lawrence Whittaker from WarrantyWise said: “We would definitely do a warranty on an Ocean. It is risky but our Modus Operandi is to cover every make and model.”

Will I be able to get Fisker parts?

This is a big concern for everyone. Because of the unique way the Ocean was developed and funded, many of the parts are made by big suppliers who will continue to do business and should be able to provide support. There are also said to be large stocks of parts which will be sold as part of the company’s liquidation process and will then presumably be resold as a commercial enterprise.

It gets a little more complex with the software support. Like any modern electric car, the Ocean relies heavily on electronics to make it function and Fisker owners have complained about bugs in the system already. With no official support, this element of the Ocean is unlikely to improve.

Will Fisker be saved?

There have been a couple of serious attempts to bail the company out already, including a rumoured tie up with Nissan. It certainly has an attractive range of cars planned and much of the expensive development work has already been done. As a result it would offer a car maker a cheap way to launch a new range of EVs, and some Fiskers may live on wearing other badges. It is unlikely the business will survive in its current format however.

Should I buy one now?

There’s no doubt that the Ocean now looks like exceptional value for money, and if you can find one offered with a form of finance which minimises the risk to you by having a guaranteed buy-back – such as a lease or PCP – then it does look very tempting. Just do some research to ensure you can insure it and look at taking out a third-party warranty to cover you for repairs.

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