• Jul 13th 2009 at 3:46PM
  • 7
Fisker Karma Sunset Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

When Ford announced its tie-up with Magna International to build an electric vehicle earlier this year, there was a lot to learn about how the auto industry as a whole can benefit from these kinds of partnerships. Now, in a three-part series (I, II, III) about Fisker Automotive's strategy, writer Nicolas Zart looks at the method by which Fisker will bring its Karma to the market.

Aside from using a very familiar picture and repeating himself at the top of each article in the series, Zart's article is worth reading for identifying some key differences between how the automotive start up is designing and building the car and how the many failed auto companies of the 20th Century tried to do it. One of those differences is that Fisker is using an Apple/Nike strategy and focusing on the design and the selling and not on owning or operating factories. Instead, as Henrik Fisker proudly told us in Detroit earlier this year, Fisker is partnering with Valmet Automotive in Finland to build the vehicles. Zart's point is that this strategy means Fisker has a good chance at success where so many others have failed through the years. Of course, Fisker is moving towards having its own factories here in the U.S. for future, cheaper models (see also, Tesla), so we'll soon have a chance to see if growing to be a bit more like the big boys is a good or bad move.


Photos copyright ©2009 Sebastian Blanco / Weblogs, Inc.
[Source:
Examiner.com]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 7 Months Ago
      I have always thoguht Fisker's model was the way to go. Valmet has experience building high end vehicles, Porsche Boxsters. In fact the early Boxsters from Valmet where better built than those from Gremany. I also like how he has teamed with high end dealers to sell his cars. These dealers know how to sell AND service high net worth individuals.
      • 7 Months Ago
      True, it's a good way to produce a new vehicle with minimal capital investment and development time. But if the only thing Fisker itself brings to the table is styling and marketing, what prevents the suppliers from getting together and making their own car?
        • 7 Months Ago
        Very good point Peter and perhaps a quick look at the computer industry could shed some light. While Apple hasn't re-invented the wheel, it still has no one competing with its products. No one else has a nice eye candy Unix OS with great quality hardware. However, on the PC side, you can see clones and look alike all vying for a slice of the market without really inspiring aesthetic passion.

        We feel it is the same in the car industry. This is where it will be interesting to see what China has to offer, especially in the long run. As far as technological innovations, they offer some things but when it comes to aesthetics, they are more interested in reproducing what others have already done.

        If Fisker continues this, they will have the chance of the century to establish themselves as being apart. We are sure they will be followed.

        The Electricnick.com team.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Nothing, Magna is certainly trying to get into the car business. As for Valmet their expertise is manufacturing and they obviously do well at it. So why bother becoming a car company with all of the accompaning regulations, testing etc?
      • 7 Months Ago
      I'm not fond of the Karma. I don't like how it looks, I don't like that it's half-assed by having a shorter electric range and a complicated generator. I'm not impressed with them constantly bashing Tesla while failing to deliver a single car. Now they're not even producing their own cars? As Peter said, what is the advantage of having Fisker involved at all?
        • 7 Months Ago
        CaramelZappa says: "I'm not impressed with them constantly bashing Tesla while failing to deliver a single car."

        This is news to me. When has Fisker bashed Tesla? When has Fisker bashed anybody?

        In fact if you plug "fisker bash tesla" into Google, you get:

        - a link about Tesla suing Fisker
        - a link about Elon Musk calling a NYT reporter a "Huge Douchebag"

        - multiple links about the Karma and Model S

        BUT...

        - zero links about Fisker bashing anybody

        Seriously where are you getting that from?
      • 7 Months Ago
      Just a clarification:

      "Of course, Fisker is moving towards having its own factories here in the U.S. for future, cheaper models (see also, Tesla), so we'll soon have a chance to see if growing to be a bit more like the big boys is a good or bad move."

      Valmet will take care of the running the plant here in the U.S., so Fisker will continue to do the same it is already doing, or at least it would seem.

      As far as growing up, it looks as if these new companies, Fisker, Tesla, etc., are not heading the same direction the old companies did, at least yet and if they resist the mistakes of falling prey to bottom line accountants and financial people raising to the top decision making positions.

      The Electricnick.com team.