Representatives of the Wanxiang Group have pledged to restart Fisker Karma production within a year, and to complete development of Fisker Atlantic. With the $149 million deal for the defunct green automaker all set, it seems like Fisker might get a rare second chance in an unforgiving industry.
There are still a lot of hurdles to overcome before Fisker Karma production resumes, like how to make up the $35,000 lost on every Karma sold that led to bankruptcy in the first place. One potential option to overcome the cost hurdle is an alliance with Bob Lutz-backed VL Automotive, which wants to replace the plug-in drivetrain with a supercharged V8. Wanxiang also pledged to finish development of Fisker’s next car, the smaller Fisker Atlantic, though what kind of drivetrain that could get remains unknown.
Wanxiang also wants bring production to America, which would give the company another manufacturing facility on U.S. soil. Some options include the former GM plant in Delaware that Fisker had originally planned to use, as well as a “potential partner” from Michigan that was a hinted at, but not specified. These new Fiskers could even be built in China, where a new push to reduce smog could benefit hybrid and electric car makers, especially ones that claim an average of 150 MPG.
One thing Wanxiang may have to do without is the Fisker name, which wasn’t included in the $149 million sale. But all the other pieces are in place to restarter Karma production, including Fisker’s former battery supplier A123 Systems, also owned by Wanxiang. I wouldn’t have guessed that Fisker, of all the defunct automakers in recent years, would get a second chance.
Too big to fail? For now, at least, that seems to be the case. Are you willing to give Fisker a second chance?