Fisker May Build Atlantic Hybrid Outside of U.S.; Generates $100M in 2012 Karma Sales
May 31, 2012 8:31 PM
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In the first four months of 2012, Fisker's Karma plug-in generated a revenue of over $100 million for just 1,000 Karmas sold
Fisker Automotive could build its next hybrid electric vehicle, the Atlantic, outside of the U.S. due to the automaker's lack of access to government funds.
Back in April 2010, California-based Fisker Automotive received a total of $529 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for clean vehicles. The loans were part of a program to progress development of high-tech vehicles, where Fisker received $169 million for its $102,000 Karma plug-in and $359 million for the production of its Atlantic midsize sedan.
The loans were also meant to revamp a closed General Motors plant in Wilmington, Delaware for Fisker auto production. So far, Fisker has drawn down $193 million from its loans, but there's a chance that the company may never see the rest of it.
In May 2011,
DOE froze Fisker's loans
because delivery of the Karma plug-in was delayed and ended up falling behind schedule. DOE said Fisker did not meet the milestones previously promised, and since then, Fisker has not been able to access the DOE loans.
The lack of access to loans affected work on the Delaware factory. In fact, work on the auto factory had been halted, and 26 people were laid off.
However, Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker said earlier this year that the loss of DOE loans
wasn't the end of the company's auto production in the U.S.
"We are a viable, self-funded company," said Fisker. "We can actually be self-sustainable on the Karma. But we have bigger aspirations."
Despite Fisker's enthusiasm, the unfortunate realization may be that the automaker may have to go elsewhere to build its next clean vehicle, the Atlantic, because of the lack of government funding.
According to Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher, Fisker's loss of government loans will force the automaker to look into other building locations for the Atlantic. However, the company still hopes that the Delaware plant can be used somehow and that government funding will be returned.
"If Fisker no longer gets government monies, then obviously we are in a place where other options are open to us and have to be considered from a business perspective," said Ormisher. "However, given the work that we have done at the plant in Delaware and the fact that we own it, it is still our primary option to consider."
DOE may be giving Fisker a hard time when it comes to past Karma issues, but recent reports show that Fisker is
certainly doing something right
. In the first four months of 2012, Fisker's Karma plug-in generated a revenue of over $100 million for just 1,000 Karmas sold.
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RE: Says it all
6/2/2012 8:03:00 PM
The figures could easily have been cooked and the problem is that even if a lot of rich people have initial interest in buying the product, that doesn't translate into being able to sustain the sales rate.
When a company makes toys for rich people what does that ultimately do? Just give rich people one more reason to try to screw others so they have more money for their toys, and costs all taxpayers to do so.
We as a society do not need research money put into building $100,000 vehicles, we need it put into making more affordable and energy dense batteries, and a power grid that has metal rails in major highways so EVs don't have to run off their battery pack for the majority of the trip, and because the grid has to distribute the power somehow anyway.
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