Fisker and Wanxiang are restarting Karma production this year

Posted Feb 24, 2014

Fisker Automotive was acquired by the largest auto parts company in China, Wanxiang Group. The two companies are planning to restart production of the Karma plugin hybrid luxury car within the next year.

The combined companies also plan to complete the half-finished development of a second model. Wanxiang acquired Fisker’s assets for $149.2 million during a U.S. bankruptcy auction. Wanxiang Group head Pin Ni said that Fisker plans to restart the production of the Karma as early as this year and their plant in Finland.

Fisker Karma cars will be sold in the U.S. and Europe. The Fisker Karma vehicle is equipped with a small gas engine that kicks in when the on-board battery is depleted and sold at a starting price of about $100,000 before Fisker ceased production in 2012 after a few recalls. Wanxiang is finalizing business plans for Fisker and does not have any forecasts for how many Karmas will be sold.

“Obviously we want to sell more than what Fisker sold before under its previous management,” stated Ni. “We would like to restart Karma production within a year.”

Fisker started selling the Karma in 2011. The company sold a total of around 1,800 vehicles before production was suspended. This was far less than initial projections suggested that the company would sell 11,000 sedans by early 2012. Fisker and Wanxiang are talking to a “potential partner out of Michigan.” The companies may also use a former GM plant in Delaware where Fisker tried to produce cars through a loan from the U.S. Department of Energy. Fisker cars may be introduced in China in the future as well.

Fisker aims to complete the half-finished development of the second model called the Atlantic. The Atlantic is a more affordable volume model that was slated to go into production in 2015.

Fisker burned through over $1 billion in private investment along with $192 million in the form of a government loan. The company had $168 million outstanding when Fisker filed for bankruptcy.

[Source: BI]