• Mar 22nd 2011 at 3:56PM
  • 17
First Factory-Built Fisker Karma – Click above for high-res image gallery

Stop the presses! Fisker Automotive has confirmed Job One of its Karma plug-in hybrid. According to Ward's Auto, the lines at Valmet Automotive in Finland are a rollin' and production-spec Karmas are "coming down," says Roger Ormisher, a spokesman for the automaker.

Ormisher told Ward's Auto that production is "very limited in quantity," but the plan is to slowly ramp up output to avoid any issues and "ensure full quality." Ward's says that Ormisher provided scant details, but he did indicate that the initial batch of Karmas will ship out to some of Fisker's retail locations in the U.S. and Europe, where the vehicles will serve as demonstrator models. And, as for those who have plunked down deposits for the $95,900 Karma, Ward's Auto says that those vehicles may arrive by April June or July.


Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma
  • Paris 2010: First Factory-Built Fisker Karma

Photos copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Ward's Auto]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      so a car built in Finland
      with Chinese motors
      headed by a Danish citizen
      and financed (over half a billion) by the U.S. Government

      I know, I know, I know. that money's supposed to be for the next vehicle
      made in ? with ? motors
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dang - Show us some new pics.

      Show us some pics while testing, or being driven by the press, or at least somewhere off the showroom floor. Will it roll under power?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bah. I got the 1/64th scale Matchbox version a couple of weeks back. A real bargain, at approximately one one hundred thousandth the cost of the real thing.

      I, too, am wondering where all the press is on the full sized version. How can such a significant, if niche, automobile hit the road with so very little news in the press?
      • 4 Years Ago
      seems really rushed to market
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Roy,
        Yup, they have changed their tune. In May 2010 a Fisker investor said it
        " will build about 100 Karma plug-in hybrid cars this year ... with production ramping up [in 2011]
        "These will be tested internally, crash tested and used for other testing purposes," said Ray Lane, managing partner at storied U.S. venture capital fund Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. "Some of them will be given to customers for testing purposes as well, out in the real road."
        http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64Q11G20100527#

        I think apart from the Karma for the dealer demo tour, no cars made a public appearance in 2010. Perhaps they had a secret production testing going on. I don't think Tesla tested that many Roadsters, so small car companies can and do roll the dice on their initial production models. GM's "validation test build" == Fisker/Tesla "signature edition" ;-)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah Roy, I hear you. I would wait until at least 7 or 8 of those bad boys have come off the line before I bought mine....
        • 4 Years Ago
        LOL!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Let me get this right. GM builds 500 Volts on the assembly line, beats the hell out of them with washboard roads, mountain climbs. snow, ice, salt sprays, crash tests etc, and finally deems them ready for the customer. Tesla is going to do the same with the first 100 production Model S, but Fisker does such a good job that the first Karma off the assembly line is destined for the first paying customer.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @skierpage
        I suspect much of the testing is internal. They did have a whole bunch of prototypes (which were very close to production except for a few small details) that they let the media test recently. At the very least they have to past federal regulations to even sell the car.

        Even though Tesla's "signature" Roadsters were largely unfinished (because of the transmission, which in the 100 signature Roadster was their failed two speed locked into the higher gear), Tesla did plenty of testing. You can see their early development history here: http://webarchive.teslamotors.com/display_data/pressguild.swf
      • 4 Years Ago
      They actually built and tested dozens of cars over the last six months, of which 18 were used in crash-tests (with one of the best scores ever).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Were these tested vehicles off the production line, or hand built prototypes (Alpha builds)?
        • 4 Years Ago
        tell us more:
        Fisker press releases about testing with pictures
        outside contractor test results/information releases
        pictures of crash tests
        track testing at a race track
        plant press tours with pictures
        Automotive News articles about testing and results
        Automotive Engineering articles about advanced engineering and testing
        Road & Track / Car & Driver spy shots
        Popular Mechanics - first drive ???
        • 4 Years Ago
        Motorhead:

        For what fraction of news cars are those things available?
        I certainly don't know the number, but I would guess it's a very small proportion.

        Some very specific companies do that kind of promotion with some very specific models, but I would hardly call the absence of such public information to be evidence of those test not having been done.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I have this information about the crash testing from an 'inside source'. The Karma actually is one of the strongest cars in the world, with a torsion strength of 36.000 Nm. Only a Rolls Royce Phantom has more with 42.000 Nm. In comparison, the Audi A6 has 26.000 Nm. According to this 'source'.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hah, I already got mine! It's a nice model from MatchBox. $1 at Toys R Us.
      • 4 Years Ago
      From the Finnish press:
      http://yle.fi/alueet/turku/2011/03/autotehdas_tarvitsee_alumiiniosaajia_2444707.html
      Google translation (I tried to fix it a bit):

      Uusikaupunki car factory on Monday is gradually beginning production of a hybrid car, the Fisker Karma. Automotive Works is seeking full time training aluminum welding skills of people. All still laid off 150 employees are employed by the summer.

      Uusikaupunki car factory there waiting for a hopeful mood. The factory has been starting Fisker Karma hybrid car production throughout the spring. The first test series cars are already in use in the United States.

      Continuous aluminum talent search

      - In this production startup, we continuously train our aluminum welders. An ongoing two courses, "says Teija Åhlman, Valmet Automotive Communications.

      - The third begins on Monday, and the search is always on the new course participants. Education is now more than 30 people, will continue.

      15 000 cars aim

      Valmet Automotive's first hybrid cars will be delivered to importers and retailers end of the month. Fisker Karma to announce that it already has over 3 000 subscribers in advance. All of them are intended to deliver the car this year.

      - We get to the objective abundant thousand cars a month up and running in October and November, and next year we will have the capacity to 15 000 cars, boasts Åhlman.
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