Perhaps Wanxiang is serious about finally, actually re-starting plug-in hybird Fisker production. One of the first big official steps that The New Fisker has taken, other than putting up a new website, is to buy that old disparaged General Motors plant new Newport, DE for $18 million.

Technically, the Delaware plant was included in the Fisker Automotive assets that Wanxiang America won at a bankruptcy auction for $149.2 million last month. What happened last week, according to Delaware Online, is that the plant property was officially transferred to a Wanxiang America affiliate, WX Delaware Real Estate Holding Co. The cost was broken out for the first time and it comes to, you guessed it, $18 million.

In a bygone age, Fisker said it could make up to 100,000 Karma electric vehicles a year at the Delaware plant. The California automaker officially bought the plant from "old GM" in late 2009, but never did anything with it, despite Vice President Joe Biden's enthusiastic appearance at the announcement in 2009 (pictured). Five years and one bankruptcy later, we are are curious as ever to see if either the Karma or the Atlantic ever actually rolls off the assembly line there. Of course, the next big step will be to build an assembly line.


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
  • 31 Comments
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 9 Months Ago
      Lipstick on a pig. This car will never sell in numbers. There aren't that many stupid people in America and Europe or even China.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 9 Months Ago
      Lots of US assets being sold for pennies on the dollar these days...
        BipDBo
        • 9 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Except Tesla stock which is being sold for dollars on the penny.
        Levine Levine
        • 9 Months Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        All the steel plants in California have been dismantled or demolished, either shipped to China as disassembled factories or as scrape metal. California has no steel plants, thanks to anti business and anti industry socialist-environmentalist. The Rust Belt still have a few steel plants but far from being the kind of behemoth of yesteryears of the Industrial Revolution. Pittsburgh, the home of the once proud and mighty US Steel, is no longer synonymous with steel production; instead, it has come to be known as a dying decaying city akin to Detroit, a city of joblessness, run-down neighborhoods and down-trodden hopeless stragglers who couldn't leave.
          Spec
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Levine Levine
          Uh . . . that happened like in 1970s. It happened because of globalization and cheap labor rates, not environmental restrictions.
      • 9 Months Ago
      All electric would be more forward thinking.
        offib
        • 9 Months Ago
        It would, but I think it would be too late to try and redesign the whole car from scratch and bring it back to production next year. Besides, the Fisker's economy was 52mpg in electric mode! That's abhorrent as we all know. It's a miracle that the Karma is a plug-in as most of the people who've bought a Karma bought it for its striking looks and really nothing more that would be decision-deciding factor.
          Levine Levine
          • 9 Months Ago
          @offib
          The Fisker's sheetmetal will remain intact but the poorly designed mechanical and electrical system will be nip-and-tuck here and there by Wanxiang to improve efficiency, reliability, and durability. As the first Chinese auto maker in USA, Wanxiang is under huge pressure not to screw up and leave a bad legacy.
      Dave
      • 9 Months Ago
      Wanxiang could cut a lot of cost and complexity out by simply selling a ~300 hp V6 Karma. Its a good looking car. They'd sell a ton of them if they could get the cost down to about $45,000 or so. Ditto for the Atlantic.
        Kevin Gregerson
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Dave
        Can't, all the money and design is in with the drivetrain. Don't think for a second that taking all the heavyweight of the batteries, etc. wouldn't change the vehicles characteristics. You might say lighter is better, it is if it's balanced. If they could find a way to keep it balanced without a ride that jar's its passengers I'd say yes. But it won't be an easy feat. They'd be better off walking away from the all natural green product paint and interior and moving towards maintstream to bring down the pricing closer to a Tesla.
          Dave
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Kevin Gregerson
          "Can't, all the money and design is in with the drivetrain." Do you mean the Quantum Q-drive system that Wanxiang doesn't own the rights to: http://www.qtww.com/q-drive Or do you mean the turbocharged GM four cylinder engine that Wanxiang doesn't own the rights to?
          Dave
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Kevin Gregerson
          "Don't think for a second that taking all the heavyweight of the batteries, etc. wouldn't change the vehicles characteristics." You better tell Bob Lutz that. His company, VL Automotive is already selling Karmas without heavy batteries: http://www.vl-automotive.com/
          Levine Levine
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Kevin Gregerson
          Also, the Fisker brand stands for "Green" vehicles. Going all-ICE would no longer distinguish the Karma from any other similar car.
      brotherkenny4
      • 9 Months Ago
      Warren Buffet said the same thing when he bought into BYD. He said, coming up to speed on the safety and other regulatory issues in vehicles is simply a matter of going through the steps, and taking the time. It is not inherently difficult. I am paraphrasing here. I also agree that they should simply build an electric rather than a hybrid. Lots of people find the styling interesting and appealing, and are not necessarily interested in the drive system. A more reliable vehicle would be the EV, not the convoluted hybrid like fisker did it. If they go the hybrid path they could also make the ICE smaller and simply for charge mantainance of the batteries.
      Spec
      • 9 Months Ago
      Damn . . . now I understand why they bought Fisker. They got that factory for really cheap. Well, as long as they open it up and create some jobs, I guess that is fine.
        Levine Levine
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Spec
        $18million is not cheap. The factory is old, obsolete, run-down, and hasn't made a vehicle for more than a decade. It's just a shell and a floor. Even the land is not worth $18mil. Essentially, the appraisal is to provide the State with some tax revenue to offset the tax credit given to the old Fisker.
      Jim
      • 9 Months Ago
      Is it just me, or has the excitement around Fisker sort of evaporated? 2009 was a lifetime ago in terms of electric car technology and commercialization. Now here we sit in 2014, and we have the critically acclaimed Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid, the beautiful Tesla Model S, the Nissan LEAF, and plug-in versions of the Toyota Prius and Ford C-Max. All real cars selling in the real world. Not to mention numerous others. Fisker is now too late to be a pioneer, they will simply have to compete on price and features. When is the last time a Chinese car company could do that in the States?
        EVnerdGene
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Jim
        Jim, They might be able to compete if built in China, not Delaware. So far, exotic/luxury cars (like Aston Martin and Maserati) would be an oxymoron in the same sentence as China. I doubt diCaprio or Bieber would be as thrilled.
        Levine Levine
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Jim
        "When is the last time a Chinese car company could do that in the States?" Unfair question. Wanxiang is or will be the first Chinese car company to build cars in USA.
        Spec
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Jim
        Yes, there is not much excitement. The gas-only MPG was terrible. The car had several technical issues. It looks beautiful and if they can fix the flaws, they could get excitement going again. Maybe.
          EVnerdGene
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Spec
          Frisker Karma 62 kw-hrs/100 miles Chebbie Volt 36 Nissan Leaf 34 source EPA website - compared 2012 models (google Fisker Karma epa)
      brotherkenny4
      • 9 Months Ago
      Wouldn't this be a nightmare for those opposing change in our country? Will there be an admission of defeat by the naysayers (minions of our facist owners) if many of the claimed failures in the battery and EV arena find foreign support of the technology brings about commercial success? Enerdel still sells batteries, A123 still sells batteries, LGChem sells batteries, and now it looks like Fisker will still be making cars. However, we know from what we are told in the press that most green companies have failed.
        Levine Levine
        • 9 Months Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        Most American "Green" companies are scams. Their founders and CEOs are in it for the big salary and perks. And the dump suckers calling themselves investors are lining around the block to hand over their money.
        brotherkenny4
        • 9 Months Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        It's a premature evaluation.
      BipDBo
      • 9 Months Ago
      Whatever comes out of that plant in the future will be built at the cost of US labor, but with Chinese quality oversight and innovation.
        Spec
        • 9 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        US labor is pretty cheap. No, it is not China cheap but it is cheaper than Japan or Europe.
        Joeviocoe
        • 9 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        Let them try at least. They may surprise you... ..just like when Japanese cars were considered to be inferior quality, then, in the 80's they turned it around and started to make better quality than most domestic brands. ..same thing happened with South Korean manufacturing too. Kia was the worst car ever, now, with Hyundai, they are challenging every market. ..China may be the 3rd Asian upset.
          Joeviocoe
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Fisker never had a good engineering team. Not nearly as good as an electric drive train needed anyway. They tried to get by on their looks.
        Levine Levine
        • 9 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        "... with Chinese quality oversight and innovation." I doubt it. Wanxiang will hire the best personnel from US and foreign auto companies to run the Fisker plant. The Fisker coming out of that plant will be 100% Made in USA.
          EVnerdGene
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Levine Levine
          You mean 100% of the subassemblies will be final-assembled in the USA. And that's a maybe. I'd place a small bet that they'll, at least temporarily, get things rolling again at Valmet (Finland). Engineer with bottom-line thinking beat into me.
      imoore
      • 9 Months Ago
      Will Wanxiang also have to deal with the UAW baggage that Fisker inherited when they originally acquired the plant?
    • Load More Comments