Few things match the joy of open-roofed motoring. The wind runs through your hair, the sun beats down and the trees flash overhead, and it's then that you realize that this elemental experience is just better than being permanently ensconced in stylized cage of steel and glass. Unfortunately for a lot of convertible manufacturers, consumers are unaware of this truth.
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.
Now this is the kind of fighting spirit we like to see. Lu Guanqiu is a Chinese billionaire who has visited the White House alongside Chinese president Hu Jintao in 2011. He's worth an estimated $3.1 billion. And he wants to take on Tesla Motors and other EV makers with his newly purchased company, Fisker Automotive.
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."
One result of the litany of problems that Fisker Automotive suffered in 2012 – floods, fires and recalls – was a production stoppage of the plug-in hybrid Karma that has already lasted six months. Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher told AutoblogGreen that the delay was due to an attempt to renegotiate the Valmet production contract and A123 Systems's bankruptcy proceedings.
"Is that a Uusikaupunki A-Class?" It sounds like an awfully personal question, but it's something you might be asking soon, since Mercedes-Benz is partnering with Finland's Valmet Automotive to boost production of the new A-Class. There are already more than 40,000 orders in for the new hatchback, and Daimler plants in Germany and Hungary are running at full tilt to keep up.
How many ways can a car be delayed? For the Fisker Karma, the answer is: a lot. Following all sorts of problems in getting the luxury plug-in hybrid to market (to say nothing of the price increases and the two insta-recalls), Fisker's latest problem is, apparently, having finished vehicles that are stuck at the border just waiting to come into the U.S. (The Karma is built at the Valmet factory in Finland.)
That the $95,900 Fisker Karma would be built in Finland was never a secret, never up for debate. The car was delayed, and now costs more than it was originally supposed to, but the Finland thing has remained intact. In fact, when the automaker applied for its DOE Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan back in September 2009 and then again when the loan was approved in the spring of 2010, it specifically said that the loan was to build the company's next vehicle (the still-secret Nina pl
Back in July we told you that Fisker had tabbed Valmet Automotive to build its upcoming Karma. Now we get word that all of the contracts have been finalized and production looks certain. Valmet will be doing all of the engineering and manufacturing for the Karma, that sexy new four-door plug-in hybrid sports sedan designed by ex-Aston Martin designer, Henrik Fisker. Production should start about a year from now, in late 2009. The first cars should show up Stateside, with European deliveries foll
While Tesla Motors has been scrambling just to stay solvent in recent weeks, arch-rival Fisker Automotive seems to be streaming ahead. Fisker just opened a Michigan engineering facility a few days ago and the startup has now finalized its deal to manufacture the Karma in Finland. Valmet Automotive will be responsible for building the bodies and doing final assembly. A new welding line will be installed at the Valmet factory and about 500 people are expected to be employed in the build process. F
With sales of Aston Martin's existing sports and GT lineup continuing at a strong clip, the question of where to build the new Rapide four-door becomes more problematic. For a company that is still relatively low-volume (7,000 cars last year) like Aston, investing in tooling for more capacity is difficult. That's where contract builders come to the rescue. Aston is reportedly talking to Pininfarina, Karmann, Magna-Steyr and Valmet about assembling the new car, with a decision due by the end of t