Volkswagen AG VWAGY is in talks to team up with Electric Vehicle (EV) startup Fisker to enable the usage of the modular electric-drive matrix (MEB) platform of the former underneath Fisker’s upcoming SUVs.
Reportedly, Fisker has raised $50 million from Moore Strategic Ventures and approached Volkswagen to use its core vehicle components in an electric SUV expected to commence production in 2022. If the deal works out, it will allow Fisker to slash costs and reduce manufacturing time for its debut model, the Ocean sport utility vehicle. Fisker will also adopt the automaker’s battery technology to power the SUV.
Per Volkswagen, the MEB platform has been used by its Audi's subsidiary Italdesign for the production of the Fisker Ocean SUV. However, a definitive decision on future collaboration with Fisker has not yet been made yet. Fisker plans to go public, following a deal backed by private equity group Apollo Global Management. The firms recently announced that this $2.9-billion transaction will conclude by the end of 2020.
Last month, Volkswagen reached an outline agreement with Ford F, which was first announced in July 2019, to enhance the ownership experiences for current and future customers in Europe and other regions. The agreement is likely to strengthen the existing partnership between these two major auto giants to produce mid-size pick-up trucks, and commercial and EVs. The companies aim to manufacture a highly-differentiated Ford electric vehicle built on Volkswagen's MEB platform for Europe, expanding zero-emission capabilities of the former by the end of 2020. The companies plan to deliver up to 8 million of the medium pick-up trucks and both commercial vans under this partnership.
Notably, Volkswagen announced the MEB platform in 2018, which consists of a modular battery pack that can scale to fit differently sized vehicles, a motor, and other electronics. All of the firm’s upcoming ID-branded EVs are being built on the MEB platform, and it will also power certain models from Volkswagen Group brands like Audi, Seat, and Skoda.
Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider
Volkswagen currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Shares of the company have depreciated 14%, year to date, compared with the industry’s decline of 11.2%.
Some better-ranked stocks are Niu Technologies NIU and LCI Industries LCII, both carrying a Zack Rank of 2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.
Shares of Niu have surged 150.7%, year to date, as against the industry’s decline of 11.8%.
Shares of LCI Industries have appreciated 5.6%, year to date, as against the industry’s decline of 11.8%.
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