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
6/3/2012 5:17:44 AM
You do realize that the Karma is priced rather differently than the upcoming Atlantic. And that just because you may not want it lots of other people may feel differently.
I think you're totally wrong about your market estimation.
RE: Says it all
6/3/2012 7:59:41 AM
Yes I do realize that. But the Atlantic isn't going to sell that well either.
Are you people disillusion? The history on successful independent auto-makers who have tried to enter a market this established is very very short and sad. Karma has two huge strikes against it, and these should be obvious to anyone objectively viewing this. One, the vast majority don't buy cars from Fisker and aren't even aware of the brand. And two, they offer all electric vehicles.
Now if you honestly see this as a winning combination I don't know what to say. It's no wonder they need government money to stay alive. No investor or venture capitalists in their right minds would heavily back or loan money to Fisker in the amounts needed. Fisker was a loser from day one.
Look around. Do you see DeLorean's, Packard's, Hudson's and Tesla's in everyone's driveway? People buy cars from trusted and established brands!
I'm totally wrong about my market estimation? I really think not. It doesn't even seem like you've thought this through at all.
"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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