June 18, 2015, 11:00 AM
Now under Chinese ownership, the Fisker Karma looks poised to return to the road.
As stated in an April 2015 Autofile story, Wangxiang America bought up lithium-ion battery maker A123 at the end of 2012 and Fisker Automotive about a year later. It had stated it always intended to restart production of the plug-in hybrid luxury four-door coupe.
At the time, a new website (www.thenewfisker.com) was showing an overhead teaser shot of a car vaguely familiar to the discontinued Karma. The website has now been changed to offer information to current Karma owners, as well as public and owner forums. There is still no information on a new car, or another vehicle, but the company has announced plans to start up production at a new facility in Moreno Valley, California. The 555,670 square-foot facility is expected to employ 150 in manufacturing jobs.
Moreno Valley is part of the San Bernardino-Riverside Metropolitan Area and also belongs to the Greater Los Angeles area. The city grew rapidly following the levelling of Riverside International Raceway in the summer of 1989.
In a press release, Fisker Automotive and Technology Group (FATG) Chief Marketing Officer James Taylor said the company decided to locate its first production facility in the city of Moreno Valley because “California's natural beauty, trend setting, technology, and environmental focus are perfectly aligned with our Karma re-launch.”
“FATG believes in the quality, work ethic and competitiveness of manufacturing in the United States,” said Taylor. The Karma was built in Finland and speculation was that production would move to China, under the new ownership.
Similar to a Chevrolet Volt, with an onboard engine acting as a generator to power two 120 kW motors, the Karma was the subject of much controversy involving underhood fires and an infringement lawsuit by its chief competitor, Tesla.
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