Fisker plans Midwest tech center to help develop second hybrid
The Fisker Atlantic design prototype, first revealed in April 2012, is a luxury four-door sports sedan with a practical interior, the company says.
DETROIT -- Fisker Automotive says it plans to open a tech center in the Midwest, possibly in Southeast Michigan, to aid development of the Atlantic, the hybrid automaker's second vehicle.
A company statement offered no details about the center's size or expected number of employees. It was unclear if Fisker would build a center or lease existing space.
Almost three years ago, Fisker decided to close its suburban Detroit engineering office and moved about 30 full-time employees to its Southern California headquarters.
A spokesman today declined to give specifics on the new center. He said many of Fisker's key suppliers are in the upper Midwest, and a tech center in the region would be more convenient for the company's factory in Delaware.
Fisker acquired the Wilmington, Del., plant from General Motors in 2009. This year, Fisker halted preparations to build the Atlantic in Delaware after the company lost access to government loans because it missed business development milestones.
Fisker has delayed Atlantic production for at least two years, and now plans to start in late 2014 or 2015, Reuters reported.
The Atlantic is a mid-sized plug-in hybrid sedan expected to cost $50,000 to $60,000.
Fisker's first plug-in hybrid, the Karma sedan, has been plagued by delays and quality problems.
Consumer Reports magazine recently issued a negative review of the vehicle, saying it is "plagued with flaws."
Earlier this year, a Karma tested by Consumer Reports failed because of a problem with the battery made by A123 Systems, which prompted A123 to recall all the Fisker battery packs. A123 now is operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Reuters contributed to this report.
PRESS RELEASE: Fisker To Establish New Technical Center In Preparation For Next Stage Of Atlantic Development
Fisker Automotive, the world's leading manufacturer of luxury Electric Vehicles with extended range (EVer), today announced plans to establish a new Technical Center in the Midwest, with South Eastern Michigan as one of the potential locations – paving the way for ongoing development of its second model line, the Fisker Atlantic.
The new facility, currently planned to open in Spring 2013, will bring Fisker closer to key component suppliers and low-emission technical expertise at the heart of the American automotive industry. It will also be closer to Fisker's intended production facility for the Atlantic in Delaware.
"This important step signals our commitment to bringing the Fisker Atlantic to market as soon as we can," said Fisker Automotive, President and CEO, Tony Posawatz. "We will be bringing our own engineering footprint closer to our supplier base and the expertise and professional workforce that have driven the American automotive industry for more than a century."
The company previously had a technical center in Pontiac, Michigan, from Fall 2008 through Spring 2010 as final development and engineering was completed on the company's award-winning first car, the Fisker Karma sedan.
"We brought the Fisker Karma to market in record time with the help of our previous Michigan Technical facility, and now is the time to open up a permanent Technical Center to support the final Atlantic development," said Fisker Executive Chairman and Co-Founder Henrik Fisker.
"Fisker is an innovative high-tech and design-led company with our roots firmly in California. Our Global headquarters, together with design and advanced engineering, will remain in Anaheim, but with this latest move we will benefit by having the best of both worlds," added Posawatz.
The Fisker Atlantic design prototype, first revealed in April 2012, is a luxury four-door sports sedan with a practical interior. It is aimed at young families who want to drive a practical, low-emission, vehicle that also combines design flare, sports performance and premium engineering.
The Atlantic will use the latest second generation EVer (Electric Vehicle with extended range) technology. It will offer all the benefits of electric drive while at the same time eliminating the "range anxiety" experienced with an all-electric powertrain. A significant amount of the components for the car have already been designed and the new Technical Center will spearhead final product development, component readiness and production launch.
Fisker Automotive is currently in the process of evaluating different locations in the Midwest area and intends to announce further details of the Technical Center's final location and expected staffing levels early in the New Year.
About Fisker Automotive, Inc.
Fisker Automotive is a new automaker with a mission to build an innovative, eco-driven company that redefines and reshapes how the world thinks about cars. The company is leading the auto industry with its unique Electric Vehicle with extended range (EVer™) powertrain technology, which combines the power and efficiency of electric drive with the range and freedom of a gasoline engine.
Fisker was established in Southern California in 2007 by top auto designer Henrik Fisker and business partner Bernhard Koehler. In 2008 Fisker unveiled the Karma, the world's first luxury Electric Vehicle with extended range. On sale since December 2011 the Karma was delivered to the market in record time. The Karma is the first and only American car to have won the coveted BBC Top Gear Luxury Car of the Year award, Automobile magazine named it 2012 Design of the Year, and TIME magazine listed the Karma one of the 50 Best Inventions of 2011.
Fisker is headquartered in Anaheim, California and markets its products through a growing network of independent retailers around the world. Fisker Automotive can be found online at www.fiskerautomotive.com.