Chinese car companies likely Fisker Automotive investment partners

The Fisker Karma, a plug-in hybrid luxury sports sedan produced by Fisker Automotive, is displayed at the Stockholm Car Festival in Sweden on Sept. 21, 2012.
(Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP/Getty Images)

Fisker Automotive Inc. has what it is calling “detailed proposals” from several investment partners that could save the maker of expensive hybrid sports cars.

The Anaheim company behind the $110,000 Karma plug-in hybrid sports car has previously said it needs about $500 million to launch a second, less expensive model, which would be made at a factory in Wilmington, Del.

Fisker ran into a cash crunch after the federal government froze a Department of Energy loan to the company and its battery maker went bankrupt.

“We can only confirm that the company has received detailed proposals from multiple parties in different continents," the company said in a statement, “which are now being evaluated by the Company and its advisors.”


A deal could be reached in March.

Previously reported potential partners include Geely Auto, the Chinese company that owns Volvo, and Wanxiang Group, another Chinese company, which recently purchased battery maker A123 Systems out of bankruptcy. A123 builds the lithium-ion battery that goes into Fisker’s cars.

Fisker also is in talks with Wanxiang to start purchasing batteries again. But for now, production of the Karma, which is built in Finland, has been halted until the automaker secures a battery supply. The company had built up an inventory of cars prior to A123’s bankruptcy and there are cars still for sale at dealerships in the U.S. and Europe.

The automaker is looking for funds to restart work on the Atlantic, a $55,000, four-door rechargeable sports sedan that Fisker sees as a higher-volume model that would have a broader market.


Work on the Atlantic came to a halt last year when the federal government suspended a $529-million loan after delays in the introduction of the Karma. Fisker had drawn down about $192 million of the loan.


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