One of the things I didn't expect to see $FSR
do is free itself from complete reliance on its DTC model and establish a dealership network
of about 100 dealers across North America and Europe. As we've seen with other EV startups like $LCID
and as what $TSLA
has been doing all this time, they're reliant on its DTC strategy for sales.
As I've written in a previous memo
has been able to grow faster than $BIRD
, its sustainable shoe DTC competitor, thanks to their partnership with wholesalers like $JWN
. Even if the two industries are different, entrepreneurs can learn that third parties are key to helping a business scale. They can scale the marketing of your brand, brand awareness to the public, and help scale your brand's sales. Fisker needs more help with boosting brand awareness and marketing as their cars aren't as hyped as Tesla, Lucid, and Rivian vehicles. How many people are aware that the Fisker Ocean exists? Not many based on the reactions that the public has when they see one in public or when you ask anyone in public about it.
I expect Rivian and Lucid to start partnering with dealerships to expand the presence of their vehicles in the future. Growing via DTC is expensive and difficult. Tesla took on immense growth pains to grow the number of showrooms that they have today. Sure, they have higher sales, have more control over the showroom experience, and make more money per vehicle. However, Tesla can thank the zero-interest phenomenon and the generous green energy subsidies for pulling off something that no other auto startup can accomplish. Not even Ford and GM can pull something similar back in their day and today, they're reliant on hundreds, if not, thousands of dealers. At least with the big automakers, the dealerships are able to facilitate vehicle maintenance conveniently while Tesla owners have long wait times and higher priced services
. In ways, the big automakers can be seen as less capital intensive businesses than Tesla. Sounds backwards when the innovative companies are the ones becoming less, not more, capital intensive.
To conclude, Fisker is becoming even more capital light as they start outsourcing the marketing and brand awareness work to dealerships. The timing of this pivot is smart as Fisker is still in the early phases of delivering vehicles and needs a dealership network to help scale repair services for the vehicles.