Fisker may be down, but it might not stay down forever. The company behind the Karma luxury hybrid shut down late last year and was purchased by Chinese OEM supplier Wanxiang Group, which intends to restart production. It just can't tell us when.
The Orange County Register has an update on Wanxiang's plans for Fisker, and it starts with the idea that you would see brand new Karmas back on the road in mid-2015. From there the goals get less certain, the OCR saying the Surf station wagon "could ship in 2016" and the mid-priced Atlantic "might come in 2017."
As soon as the bankrupt Fisker Automotive started crawling back from the dead, rumors that the new owners would restart production of the Karma plug-in hybrid crawled as well. We've heard that the car would be built in the old General Motors plant the company owns in Delaware, that it would happen in Michigan or that Valmet would get going again in Finland. Nothing official has yet been announced, but Delaware Online is now saying that it's even money that Delaware to play a role in Fisker's phy
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.
If there's any question where Wanxiang hopes to take the remains of Fisker Automotive, just take a look at The New Fisker, a fresh official website for the bankrupt automaker. While the text available there hedges about just when and how the company will restart production, it is clear from the pictures that the company is ready to make the Atlantic PHEV concept a reality. The site even says, "Hello Future. Meet the Atlantic."
The remains of Fisker Automotive - which might not even include the name and logo - are supposed to finally be sold off tomorrow, but the scene before the auction is anything but clear. As as reminder, the two bidding parties are Wanxiang and Hybrid Tech Holdings. Hybrid Tech was denied an emergency motion in court last week that would have lifted an earlier ruling that limited how much debt it can use to try and buy Fisker. The limit remains at $25 million.
How will a federal government that is partially shut down sell an automaker that is all-but-shut-down? We'll find out Friday when the Department of Energy starts an auction for what is left of Fisker's assets, according to TheDetroitBureau.com. The DOE said last month that auctioning off the $168-million remainder of Fisker's loan obligation was the, "best possible recovery for the taxpayer."
American plug-in hybrid automaker Fisker Automotive has been through some tough times since losing its Department of Energy loan. More than 300 Karmas were destroyed by hurricane Sandy - and they weren't covered by the insurance company - its battery supplier filed for bankruptcy, and 75 percent of its employees were laid off in April. There have been more issues, but you get the point...
Well at least Henrik Fisker is putting his money where his mouth is. Or was. The co-founder of his eponymous California-based extended-range plug-in vehicle maker, who resigned as executive chairman and left the company last week, did his former company a solid and bought a Fisker Karma from a Santa Monica, CA, dealer to replace his company car, the Detroit News says. He joins Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber among paying Fisker customers.
Money isn't the only problem Fisker Automotive has with making more Karma plug-in hybrids (see: battery supply), but the California startup may soon have the cash to help resume production of its $100,000 plug-in luxury sedan. Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has the edge in taking a majority stake in the troubled automaker, according to two confidential insider sources close to Fisker.
Fisker Automotive is having a helluva time lately, what with one of its cars setting itself on fire in a California parking lot, the Department of Energy backing out on more than half of its $529 million loan promise, and Consumer Reports telling the public that the $100,000 Fisker Karma is "plagued with flaws."
In a U.S. presidential election season, anything can become political. Remember the height of trees in Michigan? Well, when you're dealing with such a barrage, it's sometimes good to remember that plug-in cars have been political for a long time and, despite some politicians best efforts, progress will continue.
"Cars have become an appliance... And on top of that, you start feeling a bit guilty about driving a car, because it pollutes, you use a lot of gasoline." These are the words of Henrik Fisker, car designer and the man who startes his own automobile company which currently builds and sells the extended-range electric Karma sedan.