National Post (Latest Edition)

Magna to develop driver assistance technology with Fisker

- Shreyasee Ra j Jos White and eph

Canadian auto supplier Magna Internatio­nal Inc. said on Monday it would develop an Advanced Driver Assistance System ( ADAS) with Fisker Inc. for the electric- car maker’s Ocean SUV that is expected to launch in late 2022.

The agreement is the latest move by Magna to broaden a strategy of supplying technology, engineerin­g and manufactur­ing to put models designed by electric vehicle startups on the road. For Fisker, the expanded ties with Magna offer a rapid, lower- cost path to developing complex driver assistance features it will need to compete with Tesla Inc., and others. Fisker shares were up 4 per cent in early afternoon trading in New York on Monday. Magna was down 1.4 per cent in New York.

Fisker chief executive Henrik Fisker said the collaborat­ion with Magna is essential to develop systems for a vehicle that is due to go into production in less than two years. “In normal supplier relations you can spend a year negotiatin­g with everyone,” Fisker told Reuters. “We don’t have time.”

In December last year, Fisker said Magna would initially be the exclusive manufactur­er of its Ocean SUV in Europe, finalizing a deal signed with the auto supplier in October. Magna can purchase up to a 6 per cent stake in Fisker as part of that agreement.

Magna chief executive Swamy Kotagiri told Reuters on Monday the driving assistance, or ADAS, system developed with Fisker is “a great base for other opportunit­ies” with other electric vehicle customers.

Kotagiri said Magna now has “all the fundamenta­l building blocks” to bring electric vehicles to market for startups or establishe­d automakers. Magna agreed in December with South Korea’s LG Electronic­s Inc to form a joint venture to produce electric motors, inverters and other electric drive technology.

Magna shares were down less than 1 per cent in trading Monday. Kotagiri said Magna is talking with other companies but declined to address “speculatio­n” that Magna is talking with Apple Inc about assembling an Apple brand electric vehicle.

Chief executive Fisker said the system for the Ocean SUV will not use lidar, at least initially, because of the cost. Lidar is a method using laser light to measure distances.

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