The Chinese auto parts magnate who bought Fisker Automotive at a bankruptcy auction in February has nursed a desire to build cars since the 1980s. Now, Lu Guanqiu is getting his chance.
The 69-year-old billionaire chairman and founder of Wanxiang Group, China's largest supplier, plans to build electric vehicles in the United States and ultimately China. And he's not kidding around.
"I'll put every cent that Wanxiang earns into making electric vehicles," he told Bloomberg in an interview. "I'll burn as much cash as it takes to succeed, or until Wanxiang goes bust."
The Karma, Fisker's plug-in hybrid sports car, sold at a starting price of about $100,000 before Fisker ceased production in 2012 after a series of missteps and recalls. But the low-slung design was raved about.
Wanxiang aims to produce the Karma in the United States and later make other extended-range hybrids here but has not offered a timeline.
"The road is still very long," Lu said. "We want to concentrate for now on manufacturing in the U.S. If I don't succeed, my son will continue with it. If he doesn't make it, my grandson will."