The pending production schedule for the Fisker Karma is pretty much at the mercy of US regulators, as the California-based maker of the extended-range plug-in won't start things up again until the ownership issue of bankrupt battery-maker A123 Systems is settled, Automotive News reports.

Fisker, which stopped production about six months ago, will continue to be in limbo until China-based Wanxiang Group gains control over A123. Wanxiang, which was bidding against companies such as US-based Johnson Controls, reached an agreement through the Delaware bankruptcy court earlier this week to acquire A123 Systems for $256.6 million. That agreement has been questioned by a number of members of Congress who fear China may gain access to US trade secrets because of the acquisition.

Fisker isn't looking for another battery supplier because it has enough of a supply of cars, Automotive News says, citing an interview Reuters conducted with Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher.

Last month, Fisker chief Tony Posawatz said Fisker had stopped production because A123 Systems' Michigan plant stopped making lithium-ion batteries for the Karma, so all available batteries were being earmarked as potential replacements for Karmas already on the road.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 31 Comments
      Doug
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Fisker, which stopped production about six months ago," Do you have another source for that? Automotive News article says they stopped in July, which I would call about five months ago. Only reason I ask is because word from Finland is the production actually stopped some time in May, but would like to see that in print before I give it credence. At any rate, I don't see why A123's situation is all of a sudden the deciding factor for when to restart production. By Fisker's own statements they have plenty of batteries in stock. They lost 338 Karmas to superstorm Sandy in one day (a huge number considering Henrik admitted they've sold less than 2000 total world wide) and yet I don't see any issues with availability for people that have the means and want to buy one. The dealers have cars to sell. So clearly the issue is one of low demand.
      imoore
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Fisker, which stopped production about six months ago..." Fisker should have been using that down time trying to find another battery supplier to help avoid the scenario they are currently facing. This is the one time they really need a backup plan. If the feds say no to Wangxiang's planned takeover and no one else steps up to make an offer, A123 could go under and Fisker is done. I believe there will always be a market for electric cars, but with the situations facing Coda and Fisker (Forget BYD; I don't think they're even coming over now), this business would probably be best left to the major automakers-and probably Tesla.
      Maddoxx
      • 2 Years Ago
      There's still plenty of inventory for this low volume low demand car.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      The bright side is where JC said they would have to shut some of the A123 operations down, Wanxiang says they will keep everything open, absorbing any losses. "Wanxiang said it would not lay off workers, and Pin Ni, president of Wanxiang’s U.S. arm, previously told the Tribune that his company would nurture A123 over the long haul, absorbing losses for five or 10 years if necessary." http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-wanxiang-wins-auction-for-assets-of-battery-maker-a123-20121208,0,7105416.story I can only hope that Fisker ultimately gains a better battery supplier in Wanxiang.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      :D. Just reading comments below of flaming hoops, sports bras, hear shielding... This place is worth a good smile now and then. :-)
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      Pausing production until they sell the cars they already made. If you looked at A123's bankruptcy filing they blamed a huge reduction in orders from Fisker for their financial woes. A123 isn't causing a problem for Fisker, if anything it's the reverse. The Karma just isn't desirable enough for the money for enough people.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        A major component of Karma and Chevy Spark will now be made in China. So glad our tax dollars are going to make China better off. So much for made in America. Fisker wants a scape goat for it's failure. A123 wants a scape goat, at least they have each other for lame ass excuses for the ridiculous way they run their corps. Sorry LTAW Karma was a looser from the beginning. They thought they were another Tesla or better, but they are no Tesla! Not even close. Both corps fleeced millions of tax payer money. A123 should have made it here in America but they were OEM horrs and would sell to no one else. They should have spread out their revenue streams instead of relying on one or two OEM contracts. Even at that they had to pay Fisker 30 million dollars to supply them with batteries. Isn't it funny, that when Fisker first used A123 as a excuse to stop production the Chevy Spark had no problems getting A123 in their OEM vehicles. Siemens, A123, Bosch gear boxes, AZD, all are OEM prostitutes and they are so much the worse for being that way. They would sell many more components if they open to the public and would not have to rely on one or two sources for profit.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          To back up my point: "Despite the concern about China snatching American technology, the Chinese company slated to buy Waltham battery maker A123 Systems Inc. has been a fixture in US manufacturing for two decades, building a base in the Midwest and saving thousands of old-line factory jobs at a time when local businesses were folding. Wanxiang America Corp., the North American arm of a Chinese conglomerate, owns several auto parts factories in the United States, and provides parts for one out of three cars manufactured in America." http://bostonglobe.com/business/2012/12/13/new-chinese-owner-has-american-roots/E5Pxs7EsocCsnJiVwyqFjN/story.html
          Doug
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          As I understand it the plan is to continue to manufacture in the US, even though the ownership is now Chinese. Agreed with most of what you had to say, though.
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          @ EVSUPERHERO Your post is so full of misconceptions and errors, it's hard to know where to start ! Just because A123 is owned by a PRC company, doesn't mean Wanxiang doesn't manufacture in the US. In fact Wanxiang already manufactures in the US, especially in Solar Industries. The PRC has some really appalling corporations, many of which have very sinister origins. But the Wanxiang Group and it's founder and present Chairman Professor Guanqiu Lu, appears to enjoy very good reputations, for ethics, integrity and reliability. It's never been viable for automotive component manufacturers to sell to the general public. The reasons are obvious. Nor would a handful of such sales be of any value. Fisker never "thought they were Tesla" . This is a comparison made only be those who invented a rivalry. A 123, filed for bankruptcy. Not just bankruptcy concerning Fisker supply, and not GM ! A123 has not "fleeced" the American taxpayer of anything. "Fleecing". implies dishonesty. No one has accused the Directors of A123, of "fleecing" anyone. In the case of Fisker, so far Fisker has not defaulted on it's loans. All business contains an element of risk, that's the nature of business. Capitalism by its nature has winners and losers. But that's just wealth re-distribution ! If you don't like the way any business operates, try staring your own ! The US government entered the Venture Capital market to stimulate the US economy, revitalize (and recapitalize) US industry and encourage US innovation in the energy sector. There were always going to be losses. These policies were approved by the majority of the US electors, not once, but twice. You may not agree, but that's the price you pay for the privilege of living in a country governed by the principles representative government.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          "A major component of Karma and Chevy Spark will now be made in China." Unlike the computer / tablet / smartphone you used to type that on? Or pretty much every other consumer good you've bought in the last decade? Or various components in the planes flying overhead? GM never promised everything would be made in the US.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          "A major component of Karma and Chevy Spark will now be made in China. " Wanxiang has stated they plan to keep the current A123 (in the US) open and operational. Karma batteries will still be made in the US.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        A123 had to eat $55 million because A123's internal QC failed...
          Doug
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Yeah, they drag each other down like Ener1 and Think.
      Kevin Gregerson
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm a fisker fan for many reasons. I just can't reccomend the Karma in its current engine compartment form. Seriously, I've seen better heat shields on an 80s ford escort. There is almost no heat shielding on the components surrounding the turbo. What little heat shielding there is, is unacceptably cheap. Other than that, the slightly eh entertainment system interface(not quite as bad as a mercedes), and the used car salespeople they hire at the showrooms. I love the car..
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am not the biggest Fisker fan, but sheesh. Can't catch a break
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      As if anyone believes A123 is Fisker's real problem.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        :D Now now Spec...In fairness to Fisker, A123 may have been hoping for higher sales from them. Conversely, there was a certain E-Bike dude who was screaming, jumping up and down (dude, buy a sports bra for God's Sake), he wanted them for his menacing bikes. Can you tell I have an ADHD mind? :D
          2 wheeled menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Spec: i thrive on danger. *jumps ebike through a flaming hoop* For everyone else's ebike though, the a123 20AH cells are wonderful even if they are heavier.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          I'm hoping for Fisker to do better. However, I'm quite skeptical and very disappointed with them missing their milestones. I've got empathy for them . . . but respect must be earned.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          I have no idea who you're talking about! I run RC Lipos and like them better :)
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          The RC Lipos probably have better energy density but they don't last as long and are more dangerous. But those two issues apply more for cars than eBikes where you can replace the batteries easily and thermal runaway problem wouldn't be very big and would have little to ignite.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Spec.... Smiling at your -1. Welcome to the club buddy! You wish them well, hope for the best..... Oh well.
        bluepongo1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        @Spec www.technologyreview.com/news/479647/a123s-technology-just-wasnt-good-enough/ <~~~ I agree Fisker had many problems. Technology Review has been following a123 exhaustively, BTW LOL! @2wm, @EZEE and @ Spec comments
          Spec
          • 11 Hours Ago
          @bluepongo1
          BTW, that link doesn't work. Nothing there.
          Spec
          • 11 Hours Ago
          @bluepongo1
          You can say whatever you want about A123 . . . it is not like Fisker would be doing just great if only they had an Enerdel or LG battery in their car.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 11 Hours Ago
          @bluepongo1
          The gist of the article is that while A123's battery was very advanced - enough to convince automakers that li-ion was viable - it was still too expensive to compete. The automakers went with less-advanced tech that was cheaper, and are willing to wait for future generations of batteries resulting from newer R&D (by MIT, naturally) that are more cost competitive.
          bluepongo1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @bluepongo1
          Thanks @LTAW . I think Fisker probably won't see 2014 unless they get Tesla tech or better engineers.@Spec. (I wasn't disagreeing with your comment) @ EZEE I don't worry about the downvotes because they usually are the tears of butt hurt trolls which make me stronger!
          Letstakeawalk
          • 11 Hours Ago
          @bluepongo1
          http://www.technologyreview.com/news/429647/a123s-technology-just-wasnt-good-enough/ "Despite the hand-wringing over the role of government in supporting clean energy and some observers’ despair over the future of electric vehicles, the real reason that A123 Systems failed is, arguably, far simpler. The lithium-ion battery maker, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this week, was betting on technology that wasn’t advanced enough to help it overcome the inherent advantages of established manufacturers and compete with them." "And although A123’s technology was an improvement on existing batteries used in electric vehicles, it wasn’t good enough to let such cars, or plug-in hybrids, compete widely with conventional vehicles. While far more compact than the lead-acid and nickel–metal hydride batteries used in early generations of electric vehicles and hybrids, lithium-ion batteries from A123 and other manufacturers remain expensive, accounting for perhaps $15,000 of the cost of a car (see “Will Electric Vehicles Finally Succeed?”). Electric vehicles are twice as expensive as their gasoline equivalents, in large part because of the batteries."
        mazdamattyp5
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        I wish I could high-five you via HTTP:
      xxricefarmerxx
      • 2 Years Ago
      if the government i so worried about trade secrets to china (which they should be) then why dont they just freakin buy it????
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