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US court okays sale of Fisker to Wanxiang Group for $149mil

United States Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross has approved the sale of assets of Fisker Automotive Holdings Inc. to Wanxiang Group Corp. for $149.2 million. The amount is nearly six times what Fisker sought when it filed for bankruptcy. The purchase still needs clearance under federal antitrust law. Gross said that the result of the auction “shows that a fair process is a good thing.”

Wanxiang beat Hybrid Tech Holdings LLC after 19 rounds of bidding by making an offer that entails $126.2 million in cash, plus equity and $8 million in assumed liabilities. Wanxiang’s offer also includes an abandoned GM factory in Wilmington that Fisker acquired in 2010.

After filing for bankruptcy in November 2013, Fisker had asked Gross to allow Hybrid to acquire its assets for around $25 million. Hybrid held a US government loan that Fisker had defaulted on without making a payment.

Read the entire article US court okays sale of Fisker to Wanxiang Group for $149mil

Wanxiang America made surprise bid for Fisker

Wanxiang America Corp., a unit of Chinese parts maker Wanxiang Group, made a bid for Fisker Automotive just days before the carmaker was to be sold to a company affiliated with Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li, according to court documents. Fisker creditors asked the United States Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware to cancel the sale to the Li affiliate and instead hold an open auction in which Wanxiang America plans to bid.

Wanxiang has agreed to make an initial bid of $24.725 million. It also said that it will assume some liabilities of Fisker, according to court documents. A hearing has been set Friday to consider whether Fisker should proceed with the sale or adopt the proposal.

In December 2013, US judge Kevin Gross raised concerns on Fisker's apparent rush to complete its bankruptcy process, which was filed only in November.

Read the entire article Wanxiang America made surprise bid for Fisker

Fisker founder to appear before Congress for DOE loan testimony

Fisker Automotive founder Henrik Fisker is set to go before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on April 24, 2013, where he is expected to label the troubled carmaker as a victim of "a confluence of events" and as a still-salvageable enterprise, according to Tim Burt, the founder’s personal representative.

Fisker is one of the representatives from the carmaker and the government set to appear before Congress to answer questions concerning $193 million in United States Department of Energy loans provided to the carmaker.

According to Burt, Fisker will say that the carmaker "can survive and move forward if it can secure financial and strategic resources, to build on its achievements so far." Fisker will focus his testimony on events that were out of the carmaker’s control, including adverse publicity regarding its two recalls and suspicious fires.

Read the entire article Fisker founder to appear before Congress for DOE loan testimony

Fisker was allowed to use federal loan despite term violations

Fisker Automotive Inc. was allowed to keep spending the funds derived from a loan provided by the United States Energy Department despite violating its terms multiple times, according to a report by research company PrivCo. The report says that The Energy Department, which provided Fisker with a $529 million line of credit in 2009, already knew by December 2010 that the luxury plug-in carmaker was not meeting breakthroughs required to keep using money from the loan.

PrivCo said its report was on documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The report remarked that while the Energy Department severed Fisker's funding in June 2011, the carmaker already drew around about $193 million, thereby leading to further loss in taxpayer money.

PrivCo chief executive Sam Hamadeh remarked that the Energy Department made a mistake in awarding the loan and should have cut it off as soon as it became evident that Fisker “had begun to default."

Read the entire article Fisker was allowed to use federal loan despite term violations

Almost 75% of Fisker Automotive’s employees in southern California had just been terminated, suggesting just how much financial trouble the company is in. Fisker, which is famous for its plug-in hybrid Karma product, had fired its internal public relations department and has referred publicity to Sitrick And Company, a Los Angeles-based firm.

According to an e-mailed statement, Fisker is hard at work in finding a manufacturing partner but it has hit a point where it had to let go of a major fraction of its workforce. Fisker had met with several workers in its office in Southern California to let them know that this will be their last day at work.

It also stated that it “regrets” being forced to cut its “hardworking and talented people” but that this is a strategic move that it has to undertake in order to maximize the value of Fisker’s core assets.

Read the entire article Fisker lays off 75% of its employees due to financial troubles

Fisker Automotive is planning to open a tech center in the Midwest to aid in the development of its second hybrid vehicle, the Atlantic. The carmaker is considering a plan to set up the tech center in Michigan, but has declined to say whether it would build a center or lease existing space. Around three years ago, Fisker shut down its engineering office in Detroit and moved its 30 full-time employees to its headquarters in Southern California.

A spokesman for the hybrid car maker noted that several of Fisker's key suppliers are located in the upper Midwest and a tech center in the region would provide more convenience to its Wilmington plant in Delaware. Fisker acquired the Wilmington plant from General Motors in 2009. This year, Fisker stopped preparations to produce the Atlantic at the Wilmington plant after the carmaker lost access to millions of dollars of federal funding because of missed business development milestones.

According to reports by Reuters, Fisker has delayed Atlantic production for at least two years, and the carmaker is now planning to commence it in late 2014 or 2015. The Atlantic is a mid-sized plug-in hybrid sedan that could fetch a starting price of around $50,000 to $60,000. Fisker’s first model, the Karma plug-in hybrid sedan, has been hit by production delays as well as quality issues.

Read the entire article Fisker to open tech center in Midwest US to aid Atlantic development

Fisker revealed that it is joining forces with Penske in order to market and service its cars in Arizona but also in the surrounding region. With this new partnership, the Fisker Karma will be available in 80 independent retail locations in the US, Canada and Europe. Currently, Fisker offers just the Karma sedan, which with its unique EVer powertrain combines the power and efficiency of a pure electric car with the range of a traditional car.

Fisker Karma delivers 403 hp and almost 1,000 lb/ft of torque. Moreover, the car offers a fuel economy of 54 MPGe and 169g CO2/mi. Furthermore, the Karma comes with the world’s largest and most powerful solar glass panel roof on a car and 22-inch wheels.

The price for this vehicle is $103,000, not including a $7,500 federal income tax credit and other local incentives. “Penske Automotive Group is one of the most respected and successful auto retail companies in the world,” said Matthew Malfitano, Director of North American Operations at Fisker Automotive. “Their support speaks volumes about Fisker’s market potential. Fisker is proud to be part of the Penske team and we look forward to a fruitful relationship.”

Read the entire article Fisker teams up with Penske, extends its U.S. dealer network

Making its public driving debut over the weekend was Fisker's Karma plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or PHEV for short. The Karma, which is one of the most anticipated newcomers this year, was driven at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races.

Pushing the car to its limits was Fisker Automotive co-founder and COO Bernhard Koehler who drove the Karma up to a top speed of 100mph or 160 km/h. CEO Henrik Fisker said that the demonstration was a "significant milestone" for Fisker Automotive and PHEV technology.

He added that the future of clean cars is bright. The Karma, a 403-horsepower sports saloon, can drive up to 50 miles or 80 km on a full-charge of the lithium ion battery pack and has a total range of 300 miles or around 480 km when employing the on-board generator that is powered by a 260 hp four-cylinder gasoline engine sourced from General Motors.

Read the entire article Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid electric vehicle makes ‘silent’ debut at Laguna Seca

It was publicized by Fisker that it will open the production model of its electric-propelled Karma sports saloon in January at the Detroit motor show. Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker said that they are "very excited to be bringing the Fisker Karma back to NAIAS." Furthermore Fisker said that the Krama, price tagged at $87,900, was already allocated until the middle of 2010 and November 2009 will see the start of initial deliveries.

Using its very own hybrid powerhouse, the Q-drive, the Fisker Karma can traverse an all-electric distance of 50 miles. It runs with a 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine, which supplies charges to the lithium-ion batteries when they run out of power. It is estimated by Fisker Automotive that regular travelers who drive a distance below 50 miles daily will average 100mpg in a year.

The firm is pledging that the remarkable appearance of the Karma concept have almost been unchanged for the production version. The dashing four-seat saloon is constructed around a lightweight, aluminum structure and has aluminum panels to reduce weight; however it still tips the scales at a massive 2109kg due to its electric powerhouse.

Read the entire article Fisker Karma coming to 2009 NAIAS

A production version of the plug-in Karma hybrid was revealed by the California-based Fisker Automotive today at the Detroit Auto Show after existing as a concept for just twelve months previously. The production Karma has only minor external design improvements compared to the original concept. The CEO of Fisker, Henrik Fisker, is pleased to announce that the eco-friendly Karma is sold out until the middle of 2010.

Pre-orders are set to be delivered beginning November this year with a basic price of $87,900. The Karma comes with a 'Q-Drive' powertrain that can reach 50 miles on an all-electric power from its lithium-ion battery after which a 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection GM Ecotec engine kicks in to charge the battery.

With the combination of electric and gasoline driving, it is estimated that users who travel less than 50 miles per day will be able to attain fuel economy of 100mpg (2.4L/100km) annually. An additional charge capacity of 0.5kWh per day is provided by a solar panel mounted on the roof of the car that comes with three modes of auto, climate and charging.

Read the entire article Detroit Auto Show: Fisker Karma Sedan production version

Famed actor Mark Wahlberg is known for his many roles, one of which is playing as Cade Yeager in the fourth and fifth installment Transformers film series. In the film, Wahlberg gets to ride Bumblebee, a Chevrolet Camaro. In real life, Wahlberg gets to sell not just a Camaro, but other Chevrolet vehicles in his new car dealership business.

According to a report by The Detroit News, Wahlberg has announced that he is opening a car dealership – his very first -- Columbus, Ohio. Wahlberg’s car dealership is a result of partnership inked with seasoned car dealer, Jay Feldman. A businessman in his own right, Feldman is an owner of not just one, but eight Chevrolet dealerships across southeast and mid-Michigan. The report says that Wahlberg and Feldman have been friends for years now, and are partners in Wahlburgers restaurants in Cleveland and Georgia.

It is easy pretty much easy to locate Wahlberg’s new car dealership in Columbus. After all, the dealership bears his name -- Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet, and it is located in a former Chevrolet dealership the duo has bought in 3900 W. Broad St., Columbus. Interestingly, the Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet dealership will feature the same “W” logo that has come to distinguish his Wahlburger chains. These burger chains are found in a number of locations in the United States, like in Palo Alto, California and in Orlando, Florida. A Wahlburger can also be farther north, in Toronto Canada.

Read the entire article Mark Wahlberg drives into Columbus, Ohio with a new Chevrolet car dealership

At last, the new 2019 Acura RDX is arriving this June, and customers interested in purchasing this reengineered and redesigned SUV would need at least around $38,295 (including destination) in their pockets to own the entry-level version of this luxury vehicle.

The base two-wheel drive model of the 2019 Acura RDX has a window sticker price of $37,300, before $995 in destination fees. The base 2019 RDX with the Super Handling-All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, on the other hand, is priced at $39,300 before $995 destination fees. At this starting price, the Acura RDX is essentially less expensive than the BMW X3 (at $41,000), the Audi Q5 (at $41,500), and the Volvo XC60 (at $41,500). However, the new RDX is bit pricier than the Infiniti QX50 (at $36,550), the Lexus NX (at $35,985) and the Lincoln MKC (at $33,995).

Interestingly, some standard equipment and features on the RDX are offered as optional on more expensive luxury SUVs like the X3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300. These include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist as well as road departure mitigation. Furthermore, the base RDX with SH-AWD comes standard with LED headlights, a panoramic moonroof, as well as a set of 19-inch wheels.

Read the entire article 2019 Acura RDX arrives in June with starting price of $37,300 before destination fee

Alexander Schmuck, BMW spokesperson, recently confirmed that the 2019 BMW M2 Competition will finally go on sale in July, with a starting price of $58,900.

BMW also revealed its options range for the brand’s newest high performance model. For instance, getting a metallic paint would cost $550, while a moonroof is priced at $1,050, and the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission will be priced at $2,900.

There will also be an M Driver’s Package for $2,500 that will boost the speed limiter to 174 miles per hour (280 kilometers per hour) from the original max speed of 155 miles per hour (249 kilometers per hour). Customers will also be required to join a one-day driving school at the BMW Performance Center. There will also be an $850 Executive Package that includes a heated steering wheel, adaptive LED headlights, automatic high beams, wireless device charging, and speed limit monitor.

Read the entire article 2019 BMW M2 Competition has $58,900 starting price, sales kick off in July

Automakers have been jumping on the bandwagon of offering subscription vehicle service. You may have already heard about BMW’s Access by BMW or Porsche’s Passport. Now, Mercedes-Benz is planning to join the lateset trend of car sharing with the newest Mercedes-Benz Collection, a monthly subscription that will launch in two United States cities in the summer. These are Nashville, Tennessee, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The two cities will act as test beds for the Mercedes Benz Collection. For some reason, BMW also chose Nashville to be the starting point of their service, while Porsche went for Atlanta, Georgia. In particular, Mercedes Benz Collection will let users swap vehicles depending on their needs and their lifestyles.

As such, there will be different levels to the monthly subscription, and that will depend on how much you are willing to spend too. Subscribers will have an option to rent everything from sedans to SUVs, to roadsters and wagons, including Mercedes-AMG models in each tier.

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz Collection subscription service will be launched in two US cities this summer

Audi opened the order books for the Audi R8 V10 RWS ((Rear Wheel Series) in fall 2017 in Europe, with the model already arriving in dealership earlier this year. At the time it was unveiled, it was still unsure whether Audi is bring the new R8 V10 RWS to the United States. Now, the premium carmaker is indeed bringing the R8 V10 RWS, at a hefty starting price of $139,950 each, Motor Trend says citing its own source.

At this pricing, the Audi R8 V10 RWS – the carmaker’s first-ever production and street-legal rear-wheel-drive R8 model – is around $26,000 cheaper than the Quattro model. However, those who are interested in acquiring this edition of the R8 should remain always alert as to when it would arrive in the US, because only 320 examples are allocated for this market. While Audi didn’t give an official date for the arrival of the R8 V10 RWS in the US, it is expected that this would occur in the last quarter of the year.

The German carmaker only needed to get rid of the Quattro all-wheel-drive system to pave way to the RWD layout, thereby giving birth to the R8 V10 RWS. However, its powerful naturally aspirated V10 remains the same. The removal of the Quattro allowed the R8 V10 RWS to trim its weight by as much as 50 kg (110 pounds) for the Coupe model, and around 40 kg (88 lbs.) for the Spyder variant.

Read the entire article Audi R8 V10 RWS is coming to the US at starting price of $139,950

We are all aware that the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta will hit dealerships by the end of this year. But that is not the only thing that we are excited about as it will also be cheaper than its predecessor. The company just announced that the MQB based sedan will have a price tag of $18,545 when it goes on sale later this year - excluding handling and destination. This still makes it $100 less than the outgoing model which starts at $18,645.

The VW Jetta comes in a number of different trims, and the most standard one will be the S trim that is equipped with a 1.4 liter turbocharged engine that makes 147 horsepower (109 kilowatts) and 184 pound feet (249 Newton metres) of torque. The Jetta S will then be working with a standard six speed manual transmission, or you could opt for the eight speed automatic transmission for a little more (plus $800). Some its other standard features are its 16 inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, and a 6.5 inch infotainment screen, which has Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible with your Apple and Android devices.

The next trim will be the SE model that starts at $22,155. This trim will be getting the same 1.4 liter turbocharged engine that is exclusively paired to an eight speed automatic, without a manual option. Additional features include a panoramic sunroof, a dual zone automatic climate control, a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and heated front seats. Safety features that come standard with this include forward collision assist and blind spot monitoring with rear traffic alert.

Read the entire article 2019 VW Jetta costs $100 less than the outgoing model

There seems to be a developing trade war between the United States and China. Something of this nature will result to losses for both parties and is particularly detrimental for the auto industry. Recently, the Unites States proposed an increase of tariffs on products entering the US from China. And in response to that, the People’s Republic of China is proposing something similar. Unfortunately, their policies cover American cars too.

If you’ve been following news reports, you’d know that President Trump first proposed tariffs of about $50 billion of goods coming into the country from China. Increased taxes applied to products including a number of important car parts like torque converters, lithium batteries, and catalytic converters. This has a huge impact on business involving motorcycles and buses.

Subsequently, China decided to suggest tariffs on $50 billion American products that include cars and planes. Even after this exchange between both countries, President Trump still refuses to call this a trade war. But there’s really no other description for this situation except that. In fact, the President of the Unites States even tweeted about this, saying that trade war is long gone and that it only occurred because of the incompetence of the previous administration.

Read the entire article Is there a trade war going on between the US and China?

Finally, the refreshed 2019 Buick Envision has been revealed to us by the automaker. Buick then says that most of these changes on both its looks and its mechanism were made in response to their customers’ feedback for the crossover when the 2016 model year was launched.

The 2019 Buick Envision now has a new front fascia, with the new headlights and the grille that make the facelifted model look more like the other new Buick models. It now sits on a set of 19 inch wheels and the rear has got new taillights as well. HID headlights now come as a standard, and customers could go for the optional LEDs on the top two trim levels.

They can also opt for the optional 2.0 liter inline four engine that carries out 295 pound feet of torque, which is a good improvement from the previous 260. Power output, however, remains at 252 horsepower. This engine is paired to a nine speed automatic transmission instead of the six speed transmission on its predecessor.

Read the entire article Refreshed 2019 Buick Envision gets aesthetic and power tweaks with optional nine-speed automatic

For those of you who are interested to own one of the BMW i8 Roadsters, be ready to spend some serious cash as the convertible that made its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year will finally arrive in March. And the good news is that this will come with a handful of new features including the E-Copper leather, 20 inch wheels, a head-up display, and heated front seats, and of course, an inflated price tag.

If BMWBlog sources are valid, the BMW i8 Roadster will have a starting price of $163,300, which does not include the $995 destination fee yet. If the automaker ends up selling it for that price, then it will be the most expensive BMW on the market right now. In fact, that makes it $19,900 more expensive than the current i8 coupe that has a price tag of $143,400.

As usual, if you add all the optional features that the automaker can add to it, this model will dig even deeper into your wallets but it also gets much cooler. For instance, adding a set of laser lights for the i8 Roadster will cost you $6,300.

Read the entire article Starting price of $163,300 on BMW i8 Roadster makes it the highest priced model now

Mercedes-Benz recently announced their newest A-Class model, and we think that the upgraded hatchback looks amazing beside the rest of its siblings, plus the fact that it now highlights the new MBUX infotainment technology that just makes it extra modern - in fact, way more than the rest of the models. With all that good news, there is one thing that might disappoint you, and it is the fact that there will not be a hatchback version of the A-Class in the United States - sorry to burst your bubble.

This is because Mercedes plans to only sell the five door A-Class in markets outside of the United States, while the American market only gets the four-door model. In fact, Canadians will even be able to get their hands on the hatchback configuration. This was confirmed by Mercedes Benz Canada CEO, Brian D. Fulton, during his interview with The Truth About Cars.

Fulton supported his statement by saying that their US colleagues already confirmed the idea that only the sedan version of the A-Class will be sold in North America. Meanwhile, Canada will get both versions: the sedan and the hatchback. More details on the sedan will be released later this year.

Read the entire article 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan will come to the US, but don’t expect the hatchback variant