Looks like Fisker Automotive's looking for its own range-extender.

The California-based maker of the extended-range plug-in Karma luxury sedan, is looking to raise at least $100 million in funds by the end of this month in order to restart production of its Delaware plant, Bloomberg News reported, citing two people who declined to be identified.

The company is looking for cash to fix a glitch in the Karma, which has sold about 600 units since starting production last year, and restart work in Delaware, according to the wire service. The money would bring Fisker's total fundraising to about $1 billion, Bloomberg said, adding that Fisker spokesman Russell Datz declined to comment on the fundraising efforts.

Restarting work on the Delaware factory would speed up the development of Fisker's less expensive Nina model.

Fisker, which has taken about 2,500 Karma orders, was set to get $529 million in U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) loans, but has received less than $200 million because of production delays. Because of such funding issues, Fisker laid off some workers.

Earlier this week, Fisker put out a teaser sketch of the Nina, which will be shown off at the New York International Auto Show next month. That model is set to start production next year, with sales beginning as soon as late 2014.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 71 Comments
      Nick
      • 3 Years Ago
      Don't be so quick to judge Fisker. Remember Tesla's first product, the Roadster, came 2 years behind schedule and had technical issues initially. Look where they are today!
      marcopolo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Here we go again! Mention the name Volt or Fisker, and conspiracy theorists have a field day. "Bloomberg News reported, citing two people who declined to be identified". !?! Well, now lets see,.....oh yeah, the last sensational news item about Fisker , quoted a reliable "Fisker Whistle-bower " and "industry Insider",! As time went by this "knowledgeable" 'source' turned out to be a pathetic little trainee salesman/storeman, who briefly worked for a Fisker dealer, and was later hired by Coda in the same menial capacity! His "information", was valueless! The fact that these sources usually turn out to be "Walter Mitty" type liars, never seems to faze journalists, or readers of such reports! The article is cunning in confusing two issues. 1) Fisker needs 100 million to fix problems in the Karma, 2) Fisker Is raising money to continue with the Delaware plant. But, the cunning bit, is the implication that Fisker spokesman Russell Datz, "declined to comment on the fund-raising efforts" somehow confirms that Fisker is "raising money to fix the glitch" ! In fact nothing of the sort! Russell Datz answered a totally different question unrelated to any mysterious 'glitch'! Any 'glitch' would involve an issue between Fisker and it's component supplier and would be the responsibility of the component supplier to remedy. But the attacks against Fisker and GM's Volt continue. Why do Leaf and Tesla not suffer the same attacks? Are the Leaf and Tesla superior vehicles, maybe, but that's a matter of preference and not really the issue. The true issue is that neither vehicle is perceived to be the product of DOE loans, or has range extended capacity. These attacks are politically/philosophically motivated, and have nothing to do with the quality of the Volt or the Karma. This sort of reportage will continue as long as the political agenda continues.
        SVX pearlie
        • 3 Years Ago
        @marcopolo
        "Here we go again! Mention the name Volt or Fisker, and conspiracy theorists have a field day. " I'm no conspiracy theorist, but I'm down on Fisker. Not because of foreign oil or greenhouse gasses, or US jobs. I'm down on Fisker because they do crappy engineering.
          EVnerdGene
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          @Marco The fewer they sell, the higher the chance it will be a "classic"; err, let's say collectable. Can't say it won't be. I'll admit it is a commercial success when they pay-back the $193M to our national debt with interest. Beyond there; I really don't care. Good luck Fisker ! US needs the more dough to blow.
          EVnerdGene
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          "Incidentally, there is no 'crappy' engineering!" There you go again Marco, making unsupported assertions. In fact, good or crappy engineering is almost as subjective as saying a car is beautiful, or your baby is cute. As an automotive engineer, I could take a tour of the underneath, easily accessible innards, and take a test-drive of the Karma, and give my subjective opinion. If really bad; I could immediately give my subjective opinion that it sucks. Otherwise; the proof is in the pudding. You'll have to eat it for a while and see if it makes you sick. Butt, as I've said in the past; the series hybrid is a loser concept - at this time. Much less efficient than a parallel hybrid (reason Volt is a parallel when we were all expecting a series). The proof is in the pudding. The Karma ate too much, and is now so overweight that it takes lots of calories to do simple things. I find it hard to not pick on Frisker. Nothing personal against them, I'm mostly pizzed that our DOE invested deficit funding in this albatross of an idea. We pay these guys to make good decisions that are somehow good for America. FAIL.
          marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          @SVX pearlie Nah, be honest! You're just down on Fisker! The accusation of "'crappy engineering'' is just an excuse. In fact reading through your posts, it's hard to find what you are actually support, since most of your posts are very negative! Incidentally, there is no 'crappy' engineering! Fisker have suffered some software problems which the component maker is sorting out, and some battery faults due to a bad batch of batteries made by A123. Fisker is not alone in experiencing the battery problem, and the supplier has accepted responsibilty, and is rectifying the problem at it's own expense. Still, you are entitled to dislike Fisker for whatever reason you choose!
          marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          @EVnerdGene "As an automotive engineer, I could take a tour of the underneath, easily accessible innards, and take a test-drive of the Karma, and give my subjective opinion." You could, but unlike SVX pearlie you are honest enough to do say and be able to give a qualified opinion,. supported by evidence, and I would listen respectfully . In SVX pearlie's case it's just baseless bile. Whatever will you do when the Karma become a commercial success, and an instant classic?
          EVnerdGene
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          is it crappy engineering or crappy quality control ? Testing? How long was the Volt and Leaf tested before ever being released? Then they slowly moved across the country. Just read about the FitEV being released to a few chosen customers. And the Focus EV with something like 3 sales in the past year? That's the way it is done in the automotive industry. Frisker introduces their D-luxe vehicle worldwide.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Heinrich Fisker was doing contract work designing Tesla's Model S when he realized "wait a minute... for mere hundreds of millions of dollars (instead of billions), I can start a car company? Since I'm the designer, I can have the car look exactly the way I want it to, and answer to nobody? Yeah, lemme do THAT! Ok, I'll give Tesla some crappy design to fulfill my contractual obligation, but I'll save my really good ideas for my own car company. And the actual engineering of the car - eh, that's a detail, I'm sure it'll work itself out" What happened as a result? Mr. Fisker's evident disdain for engineering (or at least a severe lack of respect for it's importance and difficulty) resulted in a car that looks pretty damn nice on the outside (save for that silly mustache), but is a mess for the rest. It's sloppy - they clearly didn't dot their i's and cross their t's, they just wanted to sell a car with those body panels and eco credentials, no matter what lay beneath the skin. On the plus side, Tesla had to go shopping for another designer and found Franz Von Holzhausen. Franz's take on the Model S is absolutely stunning, it's a much more useful car, and it's a far more appropriate standard-bearer for EVs. I have mixed feelings on the Fisker Karma ******* so bad. On the one hand, I love to see a dishonorable douchebag have his well-deserved comeuppance. I also love to see a sloppy product lacking any real integrity fail - not out of schadenfreude, but because that failure vindicates the painstaking engineering and attention to detail that are going into cars like the Model S, Volt, and Leaf (although GM really did mess up on that attrocious center console... tsk tsk). On the other hand, it IS an EV, and it evidently did generate consumer and investor interest in EVs - I'd hate for that interest to sour. I hope people can understand that in the world of EVs, like in any industry, there are some hard-working players worth investing in and buying from, and then there are some slick snake-oil salesmen who should be avoided. Take your investment and consumer dollars over to Tesla (or GM, or Ford).
        SVX pearlie
        • 3 Years Ago
        Henrik isn't a proper designer, hes a "stylist" - same appellation as the girl who does other girl's hair.
        Roy_H
        • 3 Years Ago
        My sentiments exactly. I have sort of changed my stripes though, as originally I pointed out Fisker's lack of innovation (all off-the-shelf parts) and engineering compromises (over weight, extremely small trunk) and decided that despite all you and I have said, I still would rather see Fisker succeed than fail. I have made assumptions about the people who buy Karmas, in that I have difficulty relating to people with lots of money. I tended to be critical on practicality issues, but they don't care, it is all about image. If they need more trunk space, they will simply drive one of their other cars that day. Fuel economy, who cares? Henrick Fisker clearly understands his target market much better than I do. OTOH I think he will have a much tougher time with the Nina, as you move down market, customers will be more critical and have fewer cars in their stable.
          SVX pearlie
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Roy_H
          "I still would rather see Fisker succeed than fail" I would rather bad companies go out of business to make decisions easier for the consumer.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why else did you think they decided to unveil the Nina down near Wall Street? I hope they can succeed raising the private money. If they can do it and then hit their milestones, then maybe they can get some more of the DoE money.
      Roy_H
      • 3 Years Ago
      Fisker Karmas are hand built in Finland, the Nina will be built in a semi-automated factory in USA. Automation plus higher production numbers are the primary reason the Nina will be much cheaper than the Karma. Fisker has run into some unexpected problems, that as far as I can determine are not due to any lack of engineering excellence, quality control, or assembly on Fisker's part but due to a faulty batch of splines from a supplier that were not properly hardened. These splines are part of the electric motor, so the whole motor has to be replaced. This problem has been identified and Fisker has taken steps to correct, but has slowed down deliveries and is the source of some recalls. So then the DOE loan gets halted, and Fisker is now looking for alternate sources to replace the missing DOE money. This whole thing probably comes down to one worker who mistakenly removed a batch of splines from the hardening oven prematurely. Small mistake, big consequences.
        SVX pearlie
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Roy_H
        "Fisker has run into some unexpected problems," Yeah, and a few people died in WW2...
        David Morse
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Roy_H
        They've had plenty more problems than just the motor. Software and battery issues as well.
          Roy_H
          • 3 Years Ago
          @David Morse
          Software is always buggy, but fixable with a download. The battery issue was just rotating a clamp on a cooling hose. A few problems on a brand new product are to be expected, and these have all been addressed.
      mylexicon
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've seen three Karmas in the last 2 days, including 2 running in tandem on the I-5. I hope they get financed b/c they are so much farther along than a majority of the people seeking federal grants/loans. Nice looking car. Seemed very road worthy at 80mph.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mylexicon
        I finally saw one the other day. I see Leafs & Teslas every day now. Occasionally a Volt. That Karma is a bit of a beast in that it is so wide and heavy. It looks nice but I think it is pretty dead in the water these days . . . with all the problems it has had and the $107K price tag, they just are not going to be able to sell many more. I think they need to raise money and get people excited about the Nina. And ship as many Karmas as they can but I suspect there won't be much demand for many more.
        SVX pearlie
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mylexicon
        Saw one this morning, white instead of the silver I usually see. Was wondering if the lack of reliability was nagging in the back of his mind.
      EVnerdGene
      • 3 Years Ago
      youch
      Kevin Gregerson
      • 3 Years Ago
      In two-four months time, they will be selling themselves or merging into one of the big car companies. I'm thinking GM, BMW, or VW. Quantum Tech who makes the so far problematic drivetrain for this doesn't exactly have the greatest management team. All over 50 all in the 1 percent income bracket have been fleecing investors in the company for a while to expand dying or meager product lines and Ideas. This one and their hydrogen storage systems have some merit but the pricing is still off for visionary market takeover.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Kevin Gregerson
        The Q-Drive hasn't been the source of any problems. A very few of the Chinese-sourced motors had issues, and the Visteon control center has been an absolute disaster.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          A123 and Quantum are two different companies.
          Kevin Gregerson
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          A123 which Quantum bought using previously said investor fleecing money makes the battery which has had a number of issues thus far. As for Visteon, I'm not entirely surprised.
      Roy_H
      • 3 Years Ago
      Fisker really needs to fill those 2500 orders asap. At a production rate of 25/day, this will take 20 weeks or 4-1/2 months. This will bring in approximately $250M in much needed revenue. Their fund raising will probably be successful, but if not it will delay the Nina, not kill it.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Roy_H
        I think you have to conclude that if they've cocked up this badly then the fix is not as simple as filling the orders. I'm guessing there are no orders. and it's likely even worse than that. Fisker is dead. has been for a while now. this is the phase where everybody maintains the lie to keep drawing paychecks and to avoid admitting how badly they did. it's quite disgusting. so much money that could have helped the world and they just flushed it royally.
      Roy_H
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Fisker laid off some workers and stopped production on the Karma in February." Not true, says Fisker PR: "We are currently producing 20-25 Karmas a day and will continue to do so.") and laid off 26 Delaware employees and 40 contractors in California. I wish you guys would get your facts right, instead of just repeating somebody else's error as fact. Especially when that error appears obvious.
        ABG Sebastian
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Roy_H
        You are right. Thank you for pointing this out. We've changed the article to correct the error.
      Smooth Motor
      • 3 Years Ago
      The fat lady is warming up.................................
      Ladson
      • 3 Years Ago
      Note to DOE; save the tax payer's money; this has proven to be a bad investment; also, the company is now being run by fellow who rooked us once when he sold off Chrysler's IP, collected bale out money then sold the company to Fiat. This CEO is not interested in furthering EVs or even this losing car, all he want is the tax payer's money. Time to pull the plug on this outfit.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ladson
        I forgot that Chrysler bit.. it's as if the failing cars, poor efficiency and begging for money on short notice overwrote that block of memory :P Forgot they had a total loser as an upper management figure! Nice car, but i don't understand the fanboyism. Perhaps someone skipped me when handing out the kool-aid..
          EVnerdGene
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          FANBOYISM - I love it ! Yeah, I cannot understand the enthusiasm for this over-eating buck-toothed skate; especially from the 99.9% of the readers of this site that could not afford such a car. Looks - without even knowing what it is; it has never raised my pulse like many beautiful cars often do. Technological marvel ? Come on. Oh, it's faster than a Volt !!! But has raised my blood pressure from the beginning that Chu and Biden thought it imperative that we invest deficit funds to develop this albatross. $190 Million down the toilet. Will the DOE flush more ? Private markets ? I don't give a krappe as long as the $190M is returned. Let Leonardo pass the hat in Hollywood.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          You were in the haterade line, apparently.
          Joeviocoe
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Gene, I did not mind giving Fisker all that money... as long as they were serious about making the more affordable sedan they promised as the NINA. But I am starting to doubt they really want to bring that to market in high volume. Tesla is at least using its money to achieve the goal of reaching the mass market and spread EV tech to other platforms.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          I mixed hateorade with purple drank.. sorry LTAW..
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X