Fisker intends to restart Karma production this year

Article by Eugene Conan, on February 26, 2014

Fisker Automotive, now owned by China's Wanxiang Group, is planning to resume production of its Karma plug-in hybrid luxury car "within a year" as well as complete the half-finished development of a second model, according to Pin Ni, chief of Wanxiang America. Ni remarked that the production restart will be done at Fisker’s site in Finland, with an eye to re-commence sales of Karma cars in the United States and Europe.

The Fisker Karma hybrid-electric vehicle previously had a starting price of around $100,000 before the carmaker ceased production in 2012, following a series of missteps and recalls. Ni remarked that Wanxiang is finalizing business plans for Fisker and doesn't have a forecast for the number of Karmas that will be sold. Ni, however, noted that Wanxiang wants to sell more than what Fisker sold before under its previous management.

Fisker commenced selling the Karma in 2011 and was able to sell around 1,800 units before suspending production. The figure was far behind initial projections of around 11,000 Karmas by early 2012. Ni said that once Karma sales gain momentum, Fisker could start production of the model in the US. He noted that Fisker could choose from a number of options of the Karma’s US production, including cooperating with "a potential partner out of Michigan."

He added that Fisker could also use a former General Motors plant in Delaware, where Fisker had tried to build cars. According to Ni, it is possible that Fisker would build cars in China in the future, as the country is promoting the use of all-electric battery cars and other green cars through generous purchase subsidies.

Fisker Automotive's first ever car is called the "Karma," which is built according to the company's design philosophy of sustainability and accountability. This Sustainable and Accountable Design principle represents a big leap forward not just for Fisker but the automotive industry as a whole.

Even as a new player in the auto industry, Fisker understands that designing, developing, building, selling, and disposing vehicles can be resource- and energy-intensive. Yet the company sees massive opportunity to improve the process and to see with new light what consumers around the world can expect of carmakers. Fisker strives to be a car company that leads in sustainability and accountability efforts and it does so by persistently pursuing ways of reducing carbon footprint and environmental impact in general and of raising fuel efficiency across the value chain.

The Karma and all of Fisker's future vehicles will be available and will be serviced through a worldwide network of established, independent, and reputable retailers. In the United States alone, 45 locations have already been identified, and the same number has already been planned for Europe.

The company's retail network in Europe is still being developed and it will be managed by various importers including Nellemann in Denmark, the Emil Frey Group in Switzerland, Fisker Italia in Italy, and BD Otomotive in Turkey. Moreover, the company has made a non-exclusive distribution deal with China Grand Automotive in December 2010.

Moreover, Fisker Karma is significantly the first luxury vehicle that is American-designed and engineered and that is specifically developed to carry a global appeal. It is also the lone luxury sedan that meets future emission and fuel consumption requirements, thus making it fit and ideal for any international city.

Fisker is planning other variants of the Karma, including a convertible. The company is also gearing up to build a second model that is lower-priced and is refitting a 3.2 million-square foot assembly plant in Wilmington, Delaware for this.

The company has an Uncompromised Responsible Luxury™ approach that goes beyond just reducing tailpipe emissions and minimizing fuel consumption. Fisker utilizes renewable and reused materials and the lowest-impact technologies possible in every stage of the process – from engineering, to production, to marketing. One example is the Fisker Karma's three available types of wood trim for its interior, which are sourced from reclaimed timber from windstorms and forest fires in California and from raised off lake bottoms in Michigan. Fisker assures that no live growth has been harvested for its wood trimmings. Another example is the Bridge of Weir Low Carbon Leather trim for its interior which is made through a low-impact process in a facility that is energy self-sustaining.

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