Wanxiang Group Co., which recently got the go-signal from a United States Bankruptcy Court to acquire A123 Systems, is indicating that it plans to financially support the battery maker’s main customer, Fisker Automotive Inc. Wanxiang America Corp. President Pin Ni told Bloomberg News that it is in their interest if they can help Fisker in any way they could.
However, Ni did not say whether Wanxiang would invest in Fisker. Roger Ormisher, a spokesman for Fisker, also declined to comment on the matter. Wanxiang's American unit received this week the approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US to purchase most of the assets of A123 Systems, which filed for bankruptcy in October 2012 despite being backed by US government funds.
A123’s collapse effectively stopped battery supplies to Fisker, as the troubled firm was replacing defective A123 lithium-ion packs. Ni remarked that since Fisker is a customer of A123, it would be in Wanxiang’s best interest to support the plug-in hybrid sports car maker, as a vendor or possibly in a strategic alliance.
Fisker, which builds the $103,000 Karma sedan, commissioned Evercore Partners Inc. late 2012 to find potential investors or partners as the carmaker seeks fresh funds and resume production.
That came after Fisker temporarily halted work in a Delaware site in 2012 when the Energy Department cut the carmaker’s access to a federal loan after failing to meet initial sales and production goals for Karma. Ormisher remarked that they have received a number of interested parties around the world that offer strategic alliances.