Fisker claims lawsuits won't stop Q4 2009 delivery

In spite of the recent lawsuit brought against Fisker Automotive Inc. by Tesla Motors, Fisker says they are still on track to deliver cars in the fourth quarter of 2009. Fisker's partners and investors in the venture are stepping up to defend the designer in the dispute and insist the Karma PHEV is still on track. The lawsuit revolves around the contract that Fisker had to design the body for Tesla's WhiteStar sedan. Tesla was apparently not satisfied with Fisker's work and ultimately chose to look elsewhere. Fisker went on to hook up with Quantum Technologies and get venture funding from Kleiner Perkins to create his own car. Tesla is alleging that Fisker used his knowledge of WhiteStar in the development of the Karma. Fisker claims all his design contracts are non-exclusive which is undoubtedly true. But even non-exclusive contracts don't give the contractor the right to use proprietary information on other projects. We here at ABG don't have any knowledge of the details of what happened between Tesla and Fisker. Tesla hasn't revealed much about the WhiteStar and Fisker hasn't said much about the technical details of the Karma. Frankly, regardless of what happens with the lawsuit, given that Fisker doesn't have a running prototype yet, a Q4 2009 delivery seems highly unlikely but we'll be waiting and watching. Fisker's latest press release is after the jump.

Press Release:


Irvine, California – April 24, 2008 – Today, Fisker Automotive, Inc. announced that the company is on track for delivery of the Fisker Karma in Q4 2009, and that it will vigorously defend the recent allegations put forth by Tesla. Tesla Motors breached the arbitration agreement in its contract with Fisker by filing these meritless claims in San Mateo County court.

"The lawsuit is nonsense," said Henrik Fisker, CEO, Fisker Automotive. "Fisker Coachbuild has non-exclusive design contracts as shown by the cars we have designed for a variety of manufacturers."

Fisker Automotive launched the highly anticipated Fisker Karma, a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) premium vehicle at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. The revolutionary technology incorporated into the powertrain was developed by Quantum Technologies, a public company, which first proved its capability with the launch of a U.S. military vehicle created for U.S. Army Special Operations in 2003.

"In January of 2007 I first met Henrik Fisker. Soon thereafter, I became convinced that a strategic alliance joining together Quantum's (PHEV) unique technology position with Fisker's design expertise could be leveraged into a company capable of launching the first premium sports sedan for the (PHEV) segment," expressed Alan Niedzwiecki, CEO, Quantum Technologies. "In August 2007 that vision became a reality with the inception of Fisker Automotive Inc., effectively combining Quantum's (PHEV) drivetrain expertise with a remarkable design from Fisker Coachbuild LLC."

"We are confident that Fisker Automotive continues to be a tremendous investment opportunity," said Ray Lane, Kleiner Perkins. "The design innovation of Henrik Fisker combined with the hybrid drive train experience of Quantum is unique in the automotive market."

The Fisker name for more than a decade has attracted and attained worldwide recognition. Henrik Fisker has more than 19 years of experience in the automotive and product design arena. Some of his pioneering includes work on the BMW E-1 electric car in 1991, the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Most recently Fisker Coachbuild created the Fisker Tramonto and Fisker Latigo CS in 2005.

"Fisker Coachbuild is proud of its premier reputation for design work and we look forward to continuing to build on that reputation," said Henrik Fisker.

[Source: Fisker]

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