Fisker Automotive
chief Henrik Fisker touted the advanced powertrain automaker's future without federal funding and is in daily talks for potential private financing sources, Automotive News (subs req.) reported, citing an interview with Mr. Fisker.

The maker of the Karma extended-range plug-in luxury sedan, which has raised more than $860 million in private financing during the past five years, also said the Nina is "95 percent sourced," including the use of a BMW engine, and is "ready to build," according to the publication. Fisker added that the Karma is self-financing in terms of providing enough cash flow through advance orders to build the car.

Automotive analysts and alt-fuel proponents have questioned the California-based company's future since Fisker laid off around 65 people in Delaware and California. Fisker, which was slated to get a $529 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, has received less than $200 million of that and may lose the remaining amount because of production delays. The company said in a statement earlier this month that it is in discussions with the DOE.

Fisker has taken about 2,500 Karma orders, though isn't estimating sales figures. Last week, Wall Street Journal automotive writer Dan Neil called the Karma "the world's most interesting car."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 55 Comments
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Such a gorgeous vehicle, I hope they make it - although with quotes like "ready to build" on the Nina that sounds more like a sales pitch. You can only sell so many $100+k plug in luxury hybrids, that market is finite, but I hope its enough for them to get through. Roy_H is right though, they did alot of lining up private financing before (seemingly better at it, at the time, than Tesla).
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        Tesla had the deep pockets of Musk to pull from. Fisker had the DOE. And if the GOP connects (even tenuously) Gore/Kleiner-Perkins to Fisker then a failure will be directly tied to the current administration at exactly the wrong moment. That means the government/current administration will really, really, not want Fisker to fail.
      Joeviocoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      "95 percent sourced," and "ready to build," Yet... not even a photo??!! Tesla was demonstrating the Model S on the open road well before this stage of development.
        JeremyD
        • 10 Hours Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Only rational reason is that the reveal of the NINA sedan will in some way effect sales of its flagship car, the Karma. You know it I know it, some people are just in denial of that simple fact. From what information Fisker has provided so far, which is very little, they are very similar cars. Both are sedans, both are PHEVs, just one (NINA) has an apparently more advanced BMW engine, and will cost half as much.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @JeremyD
          "Only rational reason is that the reveal of the NINA sedan will in some way effect sales of its flagship car, the Karma." I disagree that there's only *one* rational reason not to show the Nina, and I further believe there's lots of irrational reasons why not to show it. Maybe they just don't feel like it yet, maybe they're waiting for some special moment... who knows? Trying to read doom and gloom into the Nina's non-disclosed status is pure speculation.
          Roy_H
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @JeremyD
          I think JeremyD has made a very good point. The Nina could be almost identical to he Karma, and be cheaper just because of automation and commitment to higher volume. In this case, it would not be a good idea to suggest that the Nina would be available soon, that is not until the Karma has paid for itself and can be gracefully discontinued.
        Joeviocoe
        • 10 Hours Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Two Cars.. separated by $40,000 is NOT in the same market... and releasing the NINA should not take away ANY Karma sales. If the Karma is that mediocre that the NINA could compete with its sales... then people need to stay away.
          JeremyD
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Really Letstakeawalk... really? Those companies dont just sell a few sedans, they have a full line of vehicles ranging from coupes, suvs, crossovers, convertibles, etc. lol...It would be like BMW starting out with the 7 series, then selling a more advanced 5 series for less than half the price. Develop a full line, then fill in the gaps. Glad I could help clarify things for you.
          JeremyD
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @Roy_H Not replying to me are you? I didnt say anything about the NINA sedan and the Karma being in the same market... ?? I basically said that common sense says that the two cars are similar enough to warrant hesitation for SOME on whether to buy the Karma now or wait for the NINA reveal. The Karma is indeed mediocre if we are talking in terms of any metric besides it being a fantastic looking, high build quality car... but then so should the NINA. If performance falls marginally short of the Karma, we are talking Volt territory, which isnt bad, but for the 50k price range leaves much to be desired.
          Joeviocoe
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          I know you did not say that the NINA and Karma were in the same market... but the implication was there. For the possibility of the NINA taking sales away from the Karma... they would have to be in the same (or similar) market.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          "Sure there is prestige in owning a Karma over something less expensive, but a similar car from the same company for half the price... I dont think Fisker is this stupid..." Funny. Mercedes, Audi, BMW - they all offer four-door saloons in the $100K range, and yet they also offer four-door saloons at less than half the price... The fools! Why would they undercut themselves like that? (LOL)
          JeremyD
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          The NINA may or may not take sales away from the Karma... with the information we have they seem like they are very similar cars... in some ways the NINA sedan may even be a more advanced offering. Therefore my implication was that SOME folks looking for a PHEV like the Fisker Karma will wait to see the NINA sedan before committing twice the cash for what appears (at this point) to be very a similar car. In my OPINION, that is a very relevant concern for Fisker... hence my SPECULATION for need to keep NINA under wraps. I dont know for sure, you dont, nobody does yet... Sure there is prestige in owning a Karma over something less expensive, but a similar car from the same company for half the price... I dont think Fisker is this stupid, but at this point its anyone guess. Smart money will wait and see before jumping in for more than twice the price, period.
          JeremyD
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Sorry that reply was to Joeviocoe not Roy_h... sorry Roy_h.
        Roy_H
        • 10 Hours Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        I find that suspicious too. No spy photos either. And of course I think their timeline is wildly optimistic.
        Bart
        • 10 Hours Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Its a different marketing strategy. I've seen the actual Nina and Surf prototypes. The Nina in my opinion will be the best design ever to hit the midsize sedan market. I wasn't crazy about the Surf SUV. We should expect to see Nina in 2014 and Surf a couple of years after that.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      we don't know how many karmas have been delivered and why that is. the indications are that deliveries are vastly less than has been talked about. they talked about 5000 and then 1500 by end of 2011 and indications are it was only 50 that was delivered. if that cannot be fixed nothing else really matters. fisker has lost all credibility in my eyes. they seem to be extremely underperforming and they seem to be dishonest about it. it's not looking good. they might end up having spent 600 million dollars and delivered only 100 cars. that's one hell of an expensive car.
        HollywoodF1
        • 10 Hours Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        If you open a toothpick factory, your first toothpick cost you millions.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @HollywoodF1
          I of course understand that. I am talking about the scenario where you only ever make 10 toothpicks and go bankrupt.
          Nick
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @HollywoodF1
          DF would rather have no-one even try. It's just so much easier to just buy a good ol' ICE car. Screw dem EVs with their complex bits n pieces.
        FreeThinker
        • 10 Hours Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Why do you repeatedly make it so easy to feel sorry for you? Sad, sad little man.
        marcopolo
        • 10 Hours Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        @DF, "fisker has lost all credibility in my eyes." Ah, well, I'm sure that will make all the difference to Fisker. Poor old Henrick, it must break his heart to hear you say that,....or then again, since you would never have bought Fisker shares, and certainly never could purchase a Fisker Karma, why would he care what one small misanthrope thinks?
      marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      My completely unsolicited, (and probably gratuitous), advice to fisker would be to form "Project Nina', into a completely separate corporate entity, leasing the right to the brand name and designs as a priority (Romalpa clause) debt with title not having vested. This new company could reapply for the DOE incentive Loans (possibly with a JVC partner) to build the Nina without the risk a failure by the Nina, adversely affecting the successful Karma model.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @marcopolo
        That sounds like a good strategy except that I don't think any DOE loans are being given out. To reapply and sit in limbo waiting for DOE acceptance would certainly lead to their demise. The Karma did get a favorable review from Top Gear. And those guys usually hate EV's and Hybrids. I hope that review leads to an increase in sales.
          marcopolo
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @Grendal
          @Grendal, Yes you are probably correct, my advice is undoubtedly too late to be of any practical use. i saw the endorsement from Top gear, and had the satisfaction of correctly predicting the result at the time of the Tesla roadster controversy.:)
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      They should take a page from Tesla and throw a "reveal" party and get people to raise their hands and plop down some money. It would go far to have three or four thousand reservations lined up for the Nina.
        Grendal
        • 10 Hours Ago
        @Grendal
        The trick for Fisker will be to beat the Volt, in both looks and numbers.
          JeremyD
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @Grendal
          Performance-wise there is a very small window between the Volt anf the Karma... I have doubts that it will beat 94MPGe, would be great if it could get even get close though. Looks-wise, im sure the NINA will be a real head turner.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @Grendal
          Beating the Volt in looks will be easy.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      I feel a de Lorean moment coming on.........
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        I've seen him! (fairly obscure reference. only Bob Saget will get that one :)
        • 10 Hours Ago
        @DaveMart
        Hello CEO of Fisker, are you ready to receive the, ha-hum, bananas?
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd really like to know how many Karmas have been sold or delivered so far. I've seen quite a few in the L.A. area already..... My advice to Fisker would be to make the most out of it by way of additional Karma models, the shooting brake (or whatever they call it), a convertible...maybe even an all-road version with more ground clearance (a la audi allroad)...which cost relatively little money and help form a cohesive product line. THEN, they might be able to get things started on the Nina.
        marcopolo
        • 10 Hours Ago
        @Nick
        @Nick, The convertible, for sure! Oh and RHD versions.......
          Letstakeawalk
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @marcopolo
          Sorry, mp, but they've said RHD isn't in the cards, because of the expense of the conversion. Thinking positively, maybe the Sunset specifically will be so highly sought after that (and priced high for profits to encourage) RHD will be a limited option for the UK, AUS, and JPN.
          marcopolo
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @marcopolo
          @LTW, Yes indeed, and I would buy a Sunset tommorrow, if it was available in RHD.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @marcopolo
          The Surf and the Sunset are already designed and have been shown.
        Bart
        • 10 Hours Ago
        @Nick
        Nick, was on the phone with Henrik today (I'm an investor): 820 Karmas have been delivered, while a total of 1671 have been produced, meaning 851 are in various stages of delivery or transport. An additional 545 are in some stage of production at the factory. There is no sense of alarm or disaster by top brass. In fact, I'd say the company is more eager to get the $193 million paid back to DOE and separate itself from the political fray so that it can lose the bad press associated with the loan. DOE is highly subjective to shifting political winds and has made the process difficult for the company. The company's in great shape and will be announcing new financing soon to finalize development of Nina. In addition to the above sales numbers (those are pre-sold), Fisker retailed 64 Karmas in Dec 2011, 103 in Jan 2012 and with Europe now coming on - will sell about 300 in Feb.
        Bart
        • 10 Hours Ago
        @Nick
        Nick, was on the phone with Henrik today (I'm an investor): 820 Karmas have been delivered, while a total of 1671 have been produced, meaning 851 are in various stages of delivery or transport. An additional 545 are in some stage of production at the factory. There is no sense of alarm or disaster by top brass. In fact, I'd say the company is more eager to get the $193 million paid back to DOE and separate itself from the political fray so that it can lose the bad press associated with the loan. DOE is highly subjective to shifting political winds and has made the process difficult for the company. The company's in great shape and will be announcing new financing soon to finalize development of Nina. In addition to the above sales numbers (those are pre-sold), Fisker retailed 64 Karmas in Dec 2011, 103 in Jan 2012 and with Europe now coming on - will sell about 300 in Feb.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @Bart
          Thanks! Please contribute to future Fisker discussions.
      lad
      • 2 Years Ago
      Form over function! DOE; be careful how you spend my tax money or you may not be around after the next election.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 10 Hours Ago
        @lad
        DOD: Be careful how you spend my tax money or you may not be around after the next election. Ahh, okay maybe not... Unless Rommney is elected, then your budget will triple, he will fund and buy any starwars system or weapons to make our military so scary no one will dare challenge it.
      Roy_H
      • 2 Years Ago
      Still much too early to predict success or failure of Fisker. Valmet can build about 1000 Karmas per month. With 2500 orders in hand I would expect to see a lot of cars being delivered to customers. It seems that the DOE loan was tied to Karma sales, so getting those cars to customers would be top priority. ( I guess the DOE loan people were smarter than we thought. ) With several hundred million extra raised (as stated in the last fund raising) and 2500 customers waiting with cash in hand, I find it hard to believe Fisker is pressed for money. This should be a short term problem until those cars are actually delivered. 2500 customers x 100k = $250M.
        DaveMart
        • 10 Hours Ago
        @Roy_H
        http://www.frenchentree.com/french-property/122252/Provence-Cote-dAzur/Alpes-Maritimes-06/For-Sale-Alpes-Maritimes-Behind-Coast-06-Bar-Sur-Loup
          Letstakeawalk
          • 10 Hours Ago
          @DaveMart
          https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/424757_10150693753214903_338910184902_11215203_1411425243_n.jpg
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm surprised that Dan would intimate that *any* automaker actually *had* credibility in his eyes.
      marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      @Letstakeawalk Lol...!
      Nick From Montreal
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fisker never needed the money in the first place. Kleiner Perkins's John Doerr is on record saying that they wanted to use the government funding to reduce early investor dilution (early investor's stocks being worth less as more investors come in). Also, I think they wanted everything Tesla got - and more. Now, with the government bailout backslash, we're seeing Chrysler and other say "no thanks" to the loans as they are seen as a commercial "kiss of death".
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick From Montreal
        Sour grapes.
        Roy_H
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick From Montreal
        I don't think a loan is the "kiss of death". Almost everybody has taken out a loan at one time or another. There is a faction of people who don't think GM should have been bailed out, but that was not a loan. (I think bailing out GM was fine, but disagree with Wall St.) But yes, Fisker has said before that raising extra money was just a precaution, and they didn't really need it. So now it seems that it was a good idea to sell those extra shares.
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