Several Fisker Automotive Inc. officials are looking for funding and strategic partners in China and other places in Asia, according to sources. These partners are regarded to be vital to the success of the company. Its top executives are also expected to attend the Detroit auto show to meet potential customers and keep track of its rivals.
However, Fisker is on a more urgent task of attracting investors, after having experienced a difficult year with the poor launch of the flagship Karma plug-in hybrid, the bankruptcy of its battery supplier, and the criticism received during an election season to this U.S. government-backed company.
Fisker hasn’t produced a car in six months. Fisker is focusing on China because of Beijing's support of local Chinese automakers' efforts to get "green car" technology from overseas.
The central government in China has been driving the market for electric cars and plug-in hybrids in China to succeed before the decade ends. Fisker has entered talks with China Grand Automotive Services Co, a large dealership group that already has a distribution deal for Fisker cars in China.
It has also talked with Wanxiang Group, a Hangzhou-based major producer of automotive components that was the winner of an auction last month for bankrupt U.S. lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems, the main primary battery supplier of Fisker.
Sources also said that Fisker may soon begin talks with several state-owned and closely held indigenous Chinese automakers. Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher won’t confirm which companies it has talked with. He would only say that “exciting developments” are expected within the coming months.
Fisker Automotive's first car, the new Karma, was built in accordance to the carmaker’s Sustainable and Accountable Design philosophy. The company considers the life cycle of a car – from development and production to marketing and disposal – as incredibly energy- and resource-intensive process. Now, Fisker intends to improve this process as a new company.
Fisker Automotive is trying to become a carmaker devoted to sustainability and accountability, and it intends to prove this by pursuing paths that could raise efficiency while reducing environmental impact and its carbon footprint.
Sales and servicing of the new Karma and future Fisker vehicles will be done through the carmaker’s global network of independent retailers. Around 45 of them are planned in the United States and another 45 is intended in Europe. Taking charge of the development and management of Fisker's retail network in Europe are auto importers like the Emil Frey Group (Zurich, Switzerland), Nellemann (Copenhagen, Denmark), Fisker Italia (Merano, Italy) and BD Otomotive (Istanbul, Turkey). Fisker also inked in December, 2010 a non-exclusive distribution agreement with Shanghai’s China Grand Automotive.