According to the LA Times, Fisker Automotive inked a deal to lease a 556,000-square-foot industrial building in Riverside County. The 11 year lease is estimated to be worth $30 million and the company is expected to use the facility to manufacture their soon-to-be relaunched flagship vehicle, the electric-hybrid Fisker Karma.
Fisker filed for bankruptcy in 2013. Wanxiang Group, a Chinese auto parts conglomerate, bought the company’s assets out of bankruptcy for $149 million. They also picked up A123, a battery maker who was supplying Fisker with battery packs before both companies went under.
The Fisker Karma achieved a certain level of success after its launch in 2011. The car was widely advertised as an electric vehicle, but it really was a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) with 32 miles of electric range, after that the car would switch to the 2.0 litres engine. Considering PHEV technology improved considerably since Fisker went under 2 years ago, the new Karma is expected to have different specifications, but the “new Fisker” has yet to confirm how the vehicle will differ from the original concept.
By 2012, the company produced 2,450 Karmas before suspending production due to financial difficulties. Problems with the Karma’s 20 KWh battery pack from A123 were an important factor in the company’s demise.
The company is named after its co-founder and famed car designer, Henrik Fisker. Fisker resigned from the company during the financial difficulties in 2013. His current role with the new company under the Wanxiang Group is unclear, but he confirmed that 20 of the original designers of the Karma are back with the company.
But design was never a problem for the Karma. The vehicle is almost unanimously praised for its beautiful design, but the engineering side is another can of worms. Recalls plagued the original Karma. The company had to recall all vehicles on 3 different occasions.
The new Karma should go on sale next year, and we should have more details about the specifications of the vehicle later this year.
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