It’s been awhile since we heard from Fisker Automotive, and with good reason. While the green automakers has managed to (barely) stave off bankruptcy, execs have been scrambling to find a buyer for the builder of the Karma hybrid. Once again Fisker has looked to China for salvation, and has reportedly found a suitor in BAIC.
BAIC is reportedly interested not just in Fisker’s hybrid tech, but in also launching a luxury car brand with an established name and dealer network. As it stands, bids to buy Fisker have ranged from as little as $20 million from Bob Lutz and VL Automotive to $30 million from Henrik Fisker himself. That’s just a fraction of the $1 billion Fisker was once valued at, and less than 20% of the $171 million Fisker still owes the U.S. government.
But Fisker isn’t likely to attract much more money than that for a number of reasons, primarily being that most of its technology are off-the-shelf parts from other automakers. For example, the “generator” used to power the battery packs was a GM engine, and the batteries themselves came from A123 Systems, which went bankrupt and was bought by China’s Wanxiang. Also, Fisker was losing $35,000 on every Karma it sold, and the automaker hasn’t built a car in some 18 months. So whoever buys Fisker isn’t getting much for their money.
But none of that matters to BAIC, who would likely gut Fisker and start fresh. If I was in charge, I’d go the Bob Lutz route of ditching the hybrid drivetrain, dropping a big V8 engine under the hood, and start selling Fisker Karmas as luxury sports sedans. Eventually the company could work its way back to selling hybrids, but Fisker needs cash flow, and fast.
Is BAIC the savior Fisker has been waiting for?
Source: China Daily