Electric-vehicle startup Fisker is ditching the direct-sales model common to the segment’s smaller players.

The California-based company said it plans to have about 50 brick-and-mortar dealerships with “no-haggle” prices “where permitted” in North America, sending its Ocean sports-utility vehicles to them by the end of the first quarter and having all dealers in place by the time it introduces “higher-volume” models.

It said it’s been talking with potential dealers since November in preparation for the change.

Fisker previously relied on direct sales of its models. The successor to hybrid vehicle Karma maker Fisker Automotive was founded in 2016.

It said it won’t require dealers to change their existing stores, indicating it will partner with those who currently sell other brands. It plans to keep its Fisker Lounges in overseas markets to introduce the brand to consumers and capture sales leads to pass on to dealers.

The company said it’s switching to dealership sales to “align with its asset light business model” and to scale for “significant acceleration” of Ocean deliveries and “higher volume production of future models.”

Fisker has planned to produce three EV models designed by co-founder Henrik Fisker.

The company said it will operate on a hybrid sales model in Europe, with continued direct sales and plans to also add about 50 sales and distribution partners.

It said the shift will help it meet “increasing demand” for its vehicles.

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Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today

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