LOS ANGELES -- If ever there were a place an $87,900 plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle would be a smash hit, it would be in the People's Republic of Santa Monica.
After all, there's a city codicil that says residents must drive a Prius to enter the Whole Foods parking lot. Well, not really. They can get an exemption if they own a Tesla.
So it came as little surprise that the grand opening of the Santa Monica Fisker dealership, which included a display of a swoopy Fisker Karma hybrid sedan, would be heaving with people. The invite-only event, held at a former Lexus dealership repurposed to house the Fisker franchise, was limited to 200 invitees. Judging by appearances, most showed up. In ADD-plagued Los Angeles, that alone is saying something.
Although the beverage served was chardonnay, not Kool-Aid, you'd never know it from the true believers in attendance. Many of these folks had made deposits on the car without ever seeing it in person. Only Ferrari gets away with that tactic.
Not bad for a fledgling car company with zero track record that won't begin serial production until next year, if all goes according to plan. Of course, Fisker is full of “according to plan” promises: 50 miles electric range, 250 miles full-tank range, zero-to-60 in six seconds.