Three foreign carmakers have submitted serious offers to invest or to partner with financially weak hybrid car maker Fisker Automotive, sources privy with the matter told Reuters. Two sources disclosed that Fisker’s suitors include two carmakers from China and one from Europe. Fisker is hoping to finalize a deal by mid-March, another source told Reuters.
Fisker is targeting to raise between $200 million and $300 million from the deal. Sources remarked that the US hybrid maker could end up forming a strategic deal with two or more partners. Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher told Reuters in an e-mail that the carmaker has received detailed proposals from multiple parties in different continents, which are currently under evaluation by Fisker and its adviser.
A strategic deal would provide Fisker the much needed cash to produce its second model, the Atlantic plug-in hybrid. The deal is also considered as vital to gain favor with investors, as Fisker’s ability to survive has been clouded by recalls and financial setbacks.
For the past few months, Fisker chief executive Tony Posawatz and other executives held talks with several investors and carmakers, particularly in China.
They met with executives from several Chinese carmakers like Dongfeng Motor, Geely Auto 0175.hk and Beijing Auto BEJINS.UL, according to the sources. Fisker also held talks with Wanxiang Group, China's largest auto parts maker that has acquired collapsed ion battery maker A123 Systems, the carmaker’s battery supplier.
With the Karma being the first model to be released by Fisker Automotive, it has the advantage of offering the chance to not only enhance the current manufacturing process but also reinvent what people can expect from many automakers today. Making this goal possible is the fact that the Karma was made in line with the Sustainable and Accountable Design principle of Fisker Automotive. The brand believes that this symbolizes the future of the whole auto industry.
This is because for the brand, the entire process of manufacturing a car takes a lot energy and even more resources. Fisker knows that this is not limited to one phase but begins during development, on the way to building, the marketing, and ultimately the disposal. The philosophy of the brand is to find ways to enhance the efficiency while lowering the impact to the environment and reducing the carbon footprint on the whole value chain.
For Fisker, the goal is to become an automaker that is committed to accountability and sustainability. The Karma, as well as future models to come from the brand, will be sold across a wide network around the world composed of independent, dependable, and established retailers. Servicing of the models will be available through this same network. Fisker revealed that for the U.S. market, a total 45 locations have already been identified.
The same number has also been proposed for the European markets. For the retail network in Europe, sale and servicing will be done through various importers. These include Nellemann located in Copenhagen, Denmark, Fisker Italia based in Merano, Italy, and the Emil Frey Group which is in Zurich, Switzerland.
Rounding off the Europe market is BD Otomotive from Istanbul, Turkey. Fisker will be entering the Chinese market as well as it already inked, in December 2010, a non-exclusive distribution agreement with Shanghai based-company China Grand Automotive.
Fisker's European retail network is being developed and will be managed by importers like the Emil Frey Group in Zurich, Switzerland, and Nellemann in Copenhagen, Denmark.
There is also Fisker Italia in Merano, Italy, with BD Otomotive in Istanbul, Turkey, rounding out the company's presence in this part of the world. Fisker also entered into a non-exclusive distribution agreement with China Grand Automotive in Shanghai in December 2010.