Fisker stops production, announces lay offs as it tries to renegotiate loan

Article by Anita Panait, on February 7, 2012

Fisker Automotive temporarily stopped work on its Nina family sedan at its Wilmington, Del. site until such a time that the company and the US federal government would agree on the new terms of a $529 million loan doled out by the Department of Energy. The renegotiations came between Fisker and DOE after the former failed to meet certain targets for its pioneer model, the Karma.

 Under the current terms, DOE requires Fisker to meet certain deadlines, or milestones for the production of the Karma. Since the targets were not met, DOE required revision of the terms of the loan to incorporate new deadlines for the Nina. Fisker, however, downplayed the renegotiations as normal. "DOE loan modification negotiations are fairly standard procedure," Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher said, adding that what is happening “is a relatively ordinary series of events."

The production stoppage has forced Fisker to end services of 26 employees at its Delaware site and a number of contract engineers at its Anaheim, Calif., headquarters. The staff reductions at the company’s headquarters were intended to culminate in between development of the Karma and Nina.

Ormisher revealed that the Delaware site is being set up for the Nina, as the company finished installing stamping presses and robots. The company still has to install more equipment at the site. He also disclosed that Fisker has signed off on the design work on the Nina and has chosen a range-extending BMW four-cylinder to power the vehicle.

"Project Nina is already well advanced," Fisker said in a statement, adding that much of the engineering, design and development is nearly complete and so it expects to ramp up operations again. The Nina family car is expected to be smaller than its Karma sibling, having a size comparable to a Mercedes C-class and E-class. Fisker is producing its Karma vehicle at Valmet Automotive in Finland.

Fisker Automotive’s Karma is the world's first true EVer, which is short for Electric Vehicle with extended range. It is also a radical expression of what’s possible in the world of automotive.

Karma translates to “good deeds are rewarded” in Hindi. And in this essence, the Fisker Karma not only allows you to enjoy performance and style but also to drive a vehicle that is environmentally conscious and that achieves the best results in fuel consumption and emissions. Needless to say, the Fisker Karma gives you performance that is beyond the capability of any of the luxury vehicles in the market today.

The four-seat Fisker Karma combines striking and elegant design with high performance, as well as low fuel usage and zero emission on demand. Additionally, the Karma embodies Fisker’s commitment to create Uncompromised Responsible Luxury cars that give you pure driving passion.

Fisker Karma, which is an all-new vehicle with new technology from a new company, will be available in showrooms this summer. It will set a new time-to-market benchmark, being unveiled as a concept only in 2008. The car also pioneers the Premium Luxury EV segment.

What’s more, the Fisker Karma has the proprietary EVer powertrain that was inspired by military stealth vehicles. This new car can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 5.9 seconds. However, it can achieve the equivalent of over 100 miles per gallon as well as 83 g/km CO2 emissions annually.

Fisker Karma is able to run exclusively on electric power for up to 80 km or 50 miles, thanks to its rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It can run for an additional 403 km or 250 miles with its 175 kW generator that is powered by a 2-liter direct-injection turbocharged or DIT gasoline engine. These give the car a total range of up to 300 miles between recharging or refueling.

With a U.S. MSRP or Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of $95,900, excluding a $7,500 federal tax incentive, and a European suggested retail price of €85,500, the Fisker Karma is competitive with more traditional luxury sedans like the BMW 750i AcitveHybrid, the Porsche Panamera S, the Audi A8 TDI, and the Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid. The car also offers greater value over super sedans such as the $200,000 Aston Martin Rapide and the $120,000 Maserati Quattroporte.

Topics: fisker, production

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