The brainchild of Henrik Fisker, the Fisker Automotive company, has not had a lot of good news to tout this year, and this next story isn’t much of a help. According to a new report, the mid-sized, $50,000 Fisker Atlantic won’t begin production until 2014 or 2015. Can Fisker last that long?
Revealed earlier this year at the New York Auto Show, the Fisker Atlantic is a mid-sized plug-in hybrid that should be priced in the $50,000 range. That is half the price of Fisker’s only other model, the $100,000 Fisker Karma, a car that has suffered embarrassing battery recalls and spontaneous combustion.
The Fisker Atlantic is supposed to be the car that bridges the gap from niche automaker to larger volume. It’s delay no doubt stems from the government’s refusal to release more funding from the $529 million loan, though Fisker has reportedly raised over $1.2 billion in private capital since its founding, though not all these investors are happy.
The delay more also stem from a desire not to repeat the mistakes of the Karma, which some pundits have accused of being pushed to market before it was ready. The sub-compact rating due to a cramped interior and embarrassingly-low fuel economy don’t make a good case for the Karma either. Certainly the quality-control of the Karma was an issue for Fisker, and the automaker is holding on by a thread as it is. One more bad launch of a new car, and it is curtains for Fisker.
Yet a delay in the launch will also mean far less capital for the company during the next two years. 2015 is a ways away, and even though Fisker has reportedly sold over 2,000 Karma sedans, it is nowhere near the number of vehicles they need to sell to actually start making a profit. That’s where the Atlantic comes in…but will it arrive in time?