Just when it looked like the Fisker Automotive saga might be put to rest, a last-minute bid from China’s Wanxiang Automotive has thrown the whole thing into a little bit of legal chaos. The new proposal doesn’t offer any more money for the defunct automaker, but could give Fisker a second shot at life with a new hatchback design and domestic manufacturing right in Michigan.
Fisker was slated to be sold to Hybrid Tech Holdings LLC. for approximately $25 million and the assumption of financial liabilities. Wanxiang would offer $24.7 million and assumption of some liabilities, although their plan calls for a rapid restart of Fisker Karma production at the Valmet, Finland factory where just over 2,000 of the plug-in hybrids were made before going bust.
Wanxiang then wants to bring production stateside, but not to the Delaware factory bought by Fisker in a sweetheart deal. Rather, Wanxiang would work with Michigan’s via VL Automotive, another Bob Lutz-led venture that is converting orphaned Fiskers into supercharged gas guzzlers. Wanxiang also owns Fisker’s one-time battery maker A123 Systems, which has since been renamed B456 Systems. Fisker is the last piece of Wanxiang’s puzzle.
If it wins, Wanxiang will also pick up where designers left off with the smaller Fisker Atlantic, as well as producing a hatchback version somewhere down the line. Wanxaing was one of the early favorites to buy Fisker, but then dropped out until popping up in the last minute with this slightly-better deal. Hybrid Tech Holdings LLC. has thus far been mum on their plans, and with the government out some $139 million and a whole lot of public trust, giving Fisker a second chance might not be the worst idea, albeit without namesake Henrik Fisker at the head.
That said, it’s worth asking if buyers are really ready to give the defunct automaker one more go. Can the Fisker name really be recovered?
Source: Autoblog Green