The Fisker Atlantic debuted last night in Big Apple ahead of the 2012 New York Auto Show, carrying with it the promise that it might be the first car the green automaker will produce en masse in the U.S. That promise might’ve been something of a white lie, though.
“The whole plan has changed,” says Fisker CEO Tom LaSorda in an interview with Automotive News. His account came on the back of Fisker not being able to cash in the rest of its chips for what’s left of a $529 million startup loan from the Department of Energy. That’s forced Fisker to look elsewhere for funding—$132 million in private funds, as reported last month.
“Wilmington is our primary site…but there are other options,” LaSorda continued. “We have to look at what’s best for the company and the shareholders.”
Currently, the 2012 Fisker Karma, the automaker’s first all-new car, is built in Finland by the same outfit that produced the Porsche Boxster. No such small-production plants exist in the U.S. that would make the Karma financial viable. That plant, among several others in Europe, could prove worthy spots to produce the approximately $50,000 Fisker Atlantic. Because a production site isn’t expected to be pinned down until summer, delays look likely to push the Fisker Atlantic into the 2014 or 2015 model year before any reach customer hands.
Initially, the Fisker Atlantic was expected to go into production in Wilmington, Delaware, the former production site of the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky sports cars. LaSorda said all the automaker needs to make it viable is a paint booth—and a giant wad of cash.
By not taking any more Department of Energy funds, which were stonewalled for some time, Fisker has more flexibility to pick a production plant that may prove more cost-effective. Company founder Henrik Fisker said that could even mean an alliance with another automaker, if it even gets produced at all now.
Source: Automotive News