2012 Fisker Karma
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Struggling to save Fisker Automotive from the of talons of bankruptcy, Henrik Fisker has teamed up with Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li to offer to purchase the company's outstanding U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) advanced vehicles loan for just a fraction of its $171 million balance (the company was originally loaned $192 million, but $21 million was seized last month by the Energy Department).

According to Reuters, there are at least two different investor groups interested in the company, but the DOE loan must be addressed before the automaker can be revived. (Satisfying the federal loan helps make Fisker Automotive more attractive to potential buyers, but it still leaves outstanding debt to suppliers.) The DOE would sell the loan to cut its losses – against slim odds of the loan being repaid – even though it would be recovering only pennies on the dollar.

While the Fisker/Li group has reportedly offered to buy the loan for between $25 - $30 million, another group led by Chinese automaker Wanxiang Group and Bob Lutz have teamed up to offer to buy Fisker for $20 million in a prearranged bankruptcy. That second investor group is likely working a different angle: remember, it was Lutz who unveiled his Corvette ZR1-powered VL Automotive Destino at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 73 Comments
      Richard Carnes
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great recap letstakeawalk. I just reached 7500 miles and have enjoyed Karma for the past 16 months. Have averaged 277 mpg since day one. No fillups since last November. Easily the most fun I have had driving since I was 16, and can\'t imagine ever going back to using 100% dinosaur juice. The single biggest complaint is still the infotainment center, but once you get used to the quirks it\'s no big deal.
      M and H
      • 2 Years Ago
      I purchased my Fisker Karma 14 months ago. I have a number of exotics and I must say this car is a steal for the money. It gets more looks then any Ferrari or Lambo out there. It would be sad to see a company like this go away. I am sure they will restructure and start up again. To all the negative people out there keep buying gas that you cant afford. Keep dumping all your money to the oil companies, so they will consume you. Get with the times.
        Afi Keita James
        • 2 Years Ago
        @M and H
        Yeah Moron and keep supporting your globalists, moron.
          M and H
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Afi Keita James
          In case you did not get my previouse responce. Globalist do not buy exotics I have a few and have been a car buff for over 30 years. I purchased this car, for I feel it is a window into the future. If you have half a brain you shouldn not want to send any money to the middle east. They want to kill Americans. Got it. Dont call me a moron.
      Bobby R
      • 2 Years Ago
      Gutsy move Mr. Fisker. I'm waiting to see how this turns out...
      M and H
      • 2 Years Ago
      TO. Afi Keita James, Globalist dont buy Ferraris. Before you call someone a moron, you should know who your talking to.
        motorhead
        • 1 Year Ago
        @M and H
        Whether they buy Ferraris or not; globalists are morons.
      scooters2
      • 2 Years Ago
      What the **** ever happened to capitalism? In America we pretend to love our capitalistic system so much but when it comes to automotive companies these days, we want to bail out failing companies with massive government sanctioned loans. There's a reason why only Ford was able to rank on the top ten most valuable automakers, and why Chrysler and GM were not found on the top ten list. If I as an American citizen decide to start a business and start failing for whatever reason, is the government going to come bail me out with loans? Fisker was not able to survive because they could not engineer a quality product, or quality image for themselves. A company born of a "handout" basically on the backs of tax payers only build "super cars" for the rich? There is something serverly wrong with that picture. Repeat : "A company that was built up with government loans sponsored by the "tax payers" only to build "super cars" for the rich." If we are going sponsor "green" technology, I as a taxpayer do not want it to sponsor Justin Biebers weekend toy. If your going to make the Tesla argument, heres your answer "...but Tesla purposely aimed its first production vehicle at "early adopters" so that the company could optimize the technology before cascading it down to less expensive vehicles". The direction, the Karma itself does not represent to me a walk down "average joe" lane. If Fisker wants to build super cars, let them...but if your going to build super cars don't get the tax payers involved.
        360_AD
        • 2 Years Ago
        @scooters2
        Are you serious? Have you looked at Tesla model S prices? It's not exactly priced for the regular working person. As for bail outs, Fisker was never bailed out. Get your facts straight. Both Tesla and Fisker were given what was essentially part of a stimulus package designed to give the economy a booster shot. Learn about economics and economic policies. That is what a capitalist government does to jump start a stalled economy. And as it happens often in any capitalist economy, some companies fail while others succeed. It's the natural order in any capitalist system.
          JakeY
          • 2 Years Ago
          @360_AD
          @Val You are mixing "capitalism" with "laissez-faire"/"free market". Europe uses welfare capitalism, China uses state capitalism. The US is attempting to be laissez-faire capitalism, but that really that doesn't exist in the real world because of its failure to account for externalities. So the US is a mixed-economy right now.
          Val
          • 2 Years Ago
          @360_AD
          The fact that there are handouts for failed companies and adrenaline shots for a stalled economy is a huge sign this is no capitalist government. EU is not capitalist, UK is not (they are in EU but have own currency) japan is not, china is not, korea is not, taiwan is not. At this point, there is very little to distinguish western "capitalist" economies from soviet planned economy and GOSPLAN style subsidies.
          Stephen
          • 2 Years Ago
          @360_AD
          ^ this
          Val
          • 2 Years Ago
          @360_AD
          In a capitalist economy, GM would have never been bailed out, or any of the huge investment banks.
          Scooter
          • 2 Years Ago
          @360_AD
          I could be had for around 60k or less with incentives. More buyers just wanted premium models. The S wasnt launched with super car appearance either which would instantly bring more buyers to the table. All reviews pointed to the S as a superior car to the Karma. Also, the S is a usable daily car unlike the super car Karma.
        JakeY
        • 2 Years Ago
        @scooters2
        To be fair, a bulk of the Fisker loan was going to go to the Atlantic (which is less expensive, probably around the same price as the Model S). Fisker wouldn't even have qualified for the loan if that wasn't on the table.
        Stephen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @scooters2
        If you think letting GM go under, with all of its subsidiaries, was the better move then please go drink some bleach.
        clquake
        • 2 Years Ago
        @scooters2
        The US is not capitalist. That word is only used by uneducated people. If the US was completely capitalist, there would be no social programs at all, no unemployment, no social security, etc. Industries would be monopolies, e.g. Bell would control all communications, MSoft would be permitted to snuff out everything. The US is a mix of of many forms of economies and governments, one of the reasons why we are simultaneously the richest nation and the most in debt. In terms of the car manufacturing industry, you can't let 100% of an industry die overnight. Too many jobs and lives at stake. If GM & Chrysler had been allowed to completely implode, you would get a chain reaction, Ford would go under as well, the same way Lehman Brothers was the start of a horrible chain reaction. If you can control the crumbling, you can deflect a lot of the negative aspects. Today, Lehman's assets are part of too huge to give a crap about anything JPMorgan Chase. If the gov't had stepped in, they may have been able to prevent a fire sale. In short gov't intervention is required when protecting markets and preventing systemic failures. It would be completely irresponsible to let the car manufacturing industry disappear with out a fight. It's in every US citizen's interest if US businesses thrive.
        johnnythemoney
        • 2 Years Ago
        @scooters2
        Tesla: sell the Roadster, an electric Elise, to raise image awareness. Sell the Model S to "early adopters", still planning to move downmarket. Fisker: sell the Latigo and Tramonto (not sure what was the real purpose), basically a 6 series and an SL. Sell the Karma, plans the Atlantic as a less expensive model. The difference is that Tesla succeeded, Fisker didn't, but the plan looks pretty much the same from a general point of view.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @johnnythemoney
          Fisker Coachbuild was a different company - basically a high-end design/carrosserie that catered to clients who wanted a Mercedes or BMW with a body from a high-end designer. They also did the Artega GT. Fisker Coachbuild should not be confused with Fisker Automotive, which was a later, separate manufacturing company. But I do agree, Fisker and Tesla shared very similar strategies. Go in with a high-end first model, outsource the construction to keep capital costs down. Get manufacturing capabilities online for a more affordable second-generation car. Fisker sold more 1st Gen cars in less time than Tesla took with their 1st Gen, but didn't quite make it through to the second-gen. Tesla almost didn't make it either - without the massive investments from Toyota, Mercedes, and Musk's own personal piggybank, they might not have survived long enough to get the DoE Loan.
          JakeY
          • 2 Years Ago
          @johnnythemoney
          @Letstakeawalk I think the difference in Fisker's strategy is they planned the Karma to be a 15k/year car (similar to Model S volumes) and they had over a billion dollars invested in that alone (again similar to the investment in Model S). Tesla planned the Roadster only to sell up to 2k/year and had less than $200 million invested in it. The $50 million round by Daimler was enough to save the company. Similar amounts would not have saved Fisker (they would need investment rounds in hundreds of million). This is especially true since the car they would have to bridge the gap for is the Atlantic, which has an even higher planned volume (40k/year) and would require even more investment than the Karma got. Definitely the Karma sold faster than the Roadster. This is to be expected since GT cars like the Quattroporte sell more than small expensive two seaters like the Elise/Exige. Plus the Karma was priced similar to the Quattroporte, and the Roadster (although it did come with carbon fiber parts and some interior improvements) was priced a couple times higher than the Elise/Exige. However, despite that, it seemed unlikely Fisker would reach their annual target for the Karma (even if they didn't have all their problems).
          Scooter
          • 2 Years Ago
          @johnnythemoney
          Only that the Karma has a super car design and setup. The Tesla S is super fast but also very useable and doesn't find its limits at showing off on weekends.
      Jim R
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm so glad my money went to this crapsack company. And now the Chinese will pick it up for next to nothing. Might as well. They own the rest of the country.
      m_2012
      • 2 Years Ago
      How shady can you get? Come on Fisker, just go away already. Quit scamming people out of more money. No one wants your government funded, overweight, under-performing, gas guzzling, mustache wearing POS.
        m_2012
        • 2 Years Ago
        @m_2012
        I guess I do deserve some down votes for missing: cramped, loud, foreign, and no service network. Not my fault you cant edit.
        carney373
        • 2 Years Ago
        @m_2012
        I'd rather have a car that was funded by our government, than a car that can only use fuel than funds hostile or double-crossing Mideastern governments.
      RubenK
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bob Lutz can keep his filthy hands off.
        Alfonso T. Alvarez
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RubenK
        Aww - are you jealous that you will never be able to be worth shining his shoes?
          RubenK
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Alfonso T. Alvarez
          LOL How trivial. Bob Lutz is the last person on Earth that I would trust to run a company like Fisker.
      Matteo239
      • 2 Years Ago
      It just seems odd that your able to bankrupt your company and than buy it back at a discount. I love how the world works haha
        Peter
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Matteo239
        Fisker has not declared bankruptcy. If Fisker/Li could satisfy the DOE loan, then they could purchase the company and avoid bankruptcy. Fisker left his own company because he didn't like the way it was headed and even though the company is in his name, he has a board of directors to satisfy and they're usually the ones who call the shots. It's obvious that the Fisker car company was Henrik Fisker's baby and I bet he would like to be back on board and have more control over any situation that arises. I'm assuming that's why Fisker found Money Bags Li to partner with.
        Porsche4life
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Matteo239
        That's what I was saying too This should be illegal and it's bullshit This should not be allowed
      EVnerdGene
      • 2 Years Ago
      Henrik partnering with a Chinese company. Lutz partnering with a Chinese company. or Henrik and Lutz partnering with a Chinese company ? or was this the plan all along: dump deadweight and US debt, and buy company for pennies on the dollar? - - - A123, Visteon Infotainment, Hurricane Sandy, , , You've still got a car that just didn't sell very well.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      Henrik Fisker must be a very persuasive guy. I hope Richard Li can afford to burn through a couple billion.
        360_AD
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
        Visionaries and pioneers tend to be persuasive, because they are passionate about what they believe in and aren't afraid to show it. Fisker's problems (the company) are not due to Fisker the man.
          icemilkcoffee
          • 2 Years Ago
          @360_AD
          As a car visionary- Hitler didn't do badly at all. VW owes its existence to the Fuhrer.
          Rich
          • 2 Years Ago
          @360_AD
          Like Hitler, he was just the leader...
          methos1999
          • 2 Years Ago
          @360_AD
          Personally, I would say Fisker's problems ARE due to the company's namesake. He set the trajectory for the company, in that it was critical the car not look any different from the original concept car - essentially put form over function and leading towards fires & dead batteries.
          360_AD
          • 2 Years Ago
          @360_AD
          To a point, yes. But, Hitler never made or built a damn thing himself. He was only able to manipulate others to do things.
      Levine Levine
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bob Lutz is an old fart who knows not his retirement is long over due. His concoction and fiasco, GM's Sky-Soltice, cost over one billion dollars. Only Lutz's over-sized ego is more catastrophic.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Levine Levine
        [blocked]
        dohc73
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Levine Levine
        Giza, you wouldn't happen to know Levine would you, or, more like, is Levine Levine your alter-very-jewish-ego? You're also so wrong about Bob Lutz and way wrong about over-sized egos in general. Couldn't imagine the world being run by people with Mother Teresa mentalities, heck, even she probably was full of herself.
        carney373
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Levine Levine
        Any new car costs a billion dollars to develop, even a boring, un-innovative rehash of current tech and design.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Levine Levine
        Sky-Solstice was not a bad car per se. It is just that the attention to detail wasnt quite there (the atrocious top for example). Also there was no need for 2 roadsters in that platform. They should have done a roadster & a coupe like the Boxter & Caymen . 2 seaters will never have the volume of 4 dr sedans. But it could have drawn foot traffic to the showrooms.
          raktmn
          • 2 Years Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          3 roadsters actually, if you count the European Opel GT variant....
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