Fisker Automotive aims to sell 7,000 Karma hybrid sports cars in 2011

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 7, 2011

Fisker Automotive expects to sell "at least 7,000 units" of its first car, the $87,900 Karma hybrid sports car, in 2011, COO Bernhard Koehler told Automotive News Europe during the Geneva auto show. Koehler added that the U.S. start-up company plans to sell 15,000 units of the Karma in 2012. Contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive will build the Karma in Finland starting March 21. Koehler said that Fisker has received 3,000 orders for the car.

He said that the delivery of the first Karmas will be made to buyers in the U.S. in July and he said that "some VIPs may get their car as early as June." In May, Fisker will conduct Karma test drive events in the U.S. and Europe. Initially, the Karma will only be available as a four-door-version.

Koehler said that a second Karma variant will be displayed at the Frankfurt auto show this September and will be launched in 2012. By early 2013, a third version – the Karma convertible - will arrive in the market. Valmet will build all Karma variants initially.

Production of Fisker's second model line — a family sedan code-named Project Nina — will begin in Fisker's factory in Newport, Delaware, in the U.S. in late 2012. It is priced at about $40,000 after a $7,500 federal tax credit.

The signature Fisker style is prominent in the exterior design of the Fisker Karma, which features a beautiful sculpture continuously flowing with dramatic proportion. The driver gets a unique perspective of the car’s design with its raised front fenders and low, wide stance. The original Fisker Karma prototype underwent modest changes including an improved upper grill and improved airflow accounting to an enlarged lower intake. Under the rear bumper is an aerodynamic diffuser that cools the electric drive train.

The Fisker Karma’s car roof also has an instantly recognizable glass solar panel, which is an industry first. It is considered the world's largest solar panel made of continuously formed glass. Fisker Karma has adapted this as a standard feature on all their sedans.

According to Henrik Fisker, the CEO of Fisker Automotive, Inc., the company deems it important that the original design’s integrity as well as the singularity of design is maintained from the vehicle’s initial conception to final production. He highlights that the key elements of having extreme proportions and beautiful sculpture as well as using earth-friendly materials are what makes Fisker Karma unique. It also aims to inspire the creation of more eco-friendly transportation as it seeks to be considered the most desirable among available plug-in hybrid sports sedans.

The Sustainable and Accountable Design created by Fisker Karma’s interior design team is inspired by the timeless beauty of nature as well as the quality of composition of classic design. It is reflected in the utilization of reusable materials, which have been enhanced using modern technology. The wood trim, for example, comes from non-living trees, specifically from trees that have fallen due to age, trees that have been rescued in forest fires, and trees that have sunk in lakes.

Ease of use is the priority of Fisker Karma’s controls and instrumentation. A 10.2-inch screen is embedded in the center console made of layered EcoGlass. The touch sensitive screen controls various systems including the HVAC and audio systems. Behind the steering wheel are LCD gauges that display certain critical information such as battery levels and vehicle speed.

Fisker said that Karma is made up of materials that balance sensuality with environmental accountability, which is why they only use classic automotive materials that are environmentally acceptable and support the company’s commitment to eco initiatives. Fisker Automotive declares that it seeks to inspire changes.

In this line, Fisker Karma offers buyers three trim levels. The EcoChic is superior in the sustainable material series as it offers a lush environment established on an animal-free approach. A soft hand textile made of 100% Bamboo Viscose replaces leather. The EcoGlass is set up with real fossilized leaves. The EcoSport features premium leather, hand-wrapped using a manufacturing strategy that is 100% sustainable. This limits the required number of hides while also accenting natural markings.

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