Fisker Automotive

Fisker Automotive
Fisker Automotive
Type Private Joint Venture
Industry Automotive
Founded August 2007[1]
Headquarters Anaheim,[2] California, USA
Key people Henrik Fisker, Co-founder and CEO; Bernhard Koehler, Co-founder and COO
Products Premium Electric Vehicles with extended range
Employees 750
Parent Independent
Website Fisker Automotive

Fisker Automotive is an American automaker based in Anaheim, California.[2] The company's first product, the Fisker Karma is among the world's first true Electric Vehicles with extended range. It debuted at the 2008 North American International Auto Show, creating the premium green car segment in which most major manufacturers have since announced they would compete.

An estimated 15,000 cars per year will be assembled by Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki, Finland.[3] Valmet currently builds the Porsche Cayman and Boxster sports cars for Porsche AG.

Fisker originally intended to sell the Karma in late 2009, but, due to funding delays, is now aiming to deliver early customer orders sometime in late 2011. Fisker has announced that the Karma S hardtop convertible concept unveiled at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit will be available in 2012, at an unknown price. Fisker has said that it plans to have nearly 200 dealerships in Europe and North America by the end of 2011.

Contents

History

Fisker Karma outside the Fisker headquarters in Anaheim, CA.
Fisker Sunset concept
The Fisker Surf was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show

Henrik Fisker co-founded the company in 2007 with business partner Bernhard Koehler (Fisker Coachbuild) and Quantum Technologies after securing a relatively small investment from Gianfranco Pizzuto, an Italian businessman, and Palo Alto Investors. Henrik Fisker is responsible for designing some of the world's most iconic cars such as the Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage, Artega GT and BMW Z8. He also served as design director and sat on the board at Aston Martin.

This is not Mr Fisker's first venture in the automobile manufacturing business[citation needed]. In 2005 he and Koehler left Aston Martin to establish Fisker Coachbuild, in an attempt to revive the art of coachbuilding automobiles to customer specifications. The Fisker Tramanto and Latigo utilized chassis and powertrains from Mercedes-Benz SL and BMW 6-Series automobiles. Several were purchased but the business soon gave way to Fisker Automotive, a true automobile manufacturer.

Investors

Investors include Palo Alto Investors, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Qatar Holdings, LLC, A123 Systems and Ace Investments.

Fisker Automotive has raised more than $500 million in private equity and, in September 2009, was approved for a $529 million government loan from the United States Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program initiated by Congress during the Bush Administration in 2007.[4]

Europe

Fisker expects about half its sales to originate in Europe and RoW by 2012. The company has partnered with four importers as of the fall of 2010: GP Supercars (Merano, Italy), Nellemann (Copenhagen, Denmark); the Emil Frey Group (Zurich, Switzerland); and BD Otomotive (Istanbul, Turkey).

Outsourcing

Fisker Automotive is noted for its outsource business model, which retains core competencies in-house but heavily leverages the resources of suppliers, with substantial savings resulting. [5] These savings have allowed Fisker to compete with similarly priced models such as the Porsche Panamera hybrid, BMW 7 Series ActiveHybird, and Maserati Quattroporte. Fisker's outsourcing methods have allowed the company in a 2–3 year period of development instead of the typical 5 years and at a cost of $333 million instead of $1 billion.[5]

However a requirement of the government loan is that some of the money be spent building or renovating a manufacturing facility in the US, in order to ensure manufacturing jobs are not shipped overseas. Fisker fulfilled its obligation by purchasing GM's former Wilmington Assembly plant in Delaware for $20 million, and plans to start production of its next generation Electric Vehicles with extended range there in late 2012. The company expects to create more than 2,000 jobs there. Building a new plant would have cost well over $1B.

Cost savings

Fisker saves a tremendous amount of development costs by using pre-engineered components developed by other car companies whenever possible, as long as it does not compromise the integrity of its vehicles or the customer experience. For example, the door handle mechanism is actually a General Motors part , Fisker Automotive just pays a fee to GM for each door handle in the Karma, which its much cheaper than designing its own door handles.[6]

Fisker Karma components [6]

The 22 kW·h lithium ion rechargeable battery in each car will come from A123 Systems in Watertown, Mass.

The aluminum frame was engineered by Fisker and is supplied by Norsk Hydro from Norway.

The cabin interior is designed by Fisker Auto but made in USA by Magna International of Canada.

The EVer powertrain system, technically a series hybrid, delivers over 400 hp, was inspired by Quantum Technologies (which is also a founder of & early investor in Fisker).

Profitability

Due to its outsourcing model, the company claims that it can make a profit from selling just 15,000 cars.[1]

Manufacturing

On October 27, 2009, Fisker officials announced that the company has signed a letter of intent to take control of the Boxwood Road Plant (previously owned and operated by General Motors) in Wilmington, Delaware. In addition to a purchase price of $20 million, Fisker plans to spend $175 million renovating the plant. Vice President Joe Biden attended the announcement.

The company plans to build between 75,000 and 100,000 Project NINA vehicles (a mass-market plug-in hybrid sedan) by 2014.[7] The factory hopes to create 2000 jobs directly and 1000 more indirectly. Over half of the vehicles are to be exported, the highest percentage of any American company.[8]

Range extension for the Nina is to be a turbo-charged 4-cylinder BMW petrol engine.[9]

Legal dispute with Tesla Motors

On April 14, 2008, Tesla Motors filed a lawsuit against Fisker Automotive, alleging they stole Tesla's technology and are using it to develop their own hybrid car, the Fisker Karma, which was announced at the North American International Auto Show in January 2008. Tesla's suit claims that the design work done for the Model S by Fisker Coachbuild was substandard, and that Fisker diverted its best ideas to the Karma. [10]

In early 2009 the suit was settled in Fisker's favor and Tesla was ordered to pay Fisker's more than $1.1 million in legal fees.

US federal loan

Fisker has received a $528 million loan from U.S. Department of Energy's $25 billion Advanced Technologies Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program.[11] $359 million is in support of Project NINA, to design, engineer and assemble (at the Boxwood Plant in Delaware) Fisker's second-generation sedan. Fisker aims to have a new, lower-priced plug-in hybrid (PHEV) for sale starting in 2012, and ramping up to volumes over 100,000/year.[12]

Fisker Automotive plans to use the remaining $169.3 million for engineering work to complete the company's first vehicle, the Fisker Karma, and to design the tools and equipment for manufacturing its plug-in hybrids.[11][13]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Driven: How Henrik Fisker Aims to Floor the Auto Industry | Magazine". Wired.com. 2010-06-22. http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/06/ff_qa_fisker_karma/. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  2. ^ a b http://www.ocbj.com/news/2011/jan/23/fisker-strikes-deal-hq-anaheim/
  3. ^ "Valmet Automotive announces a Letter of Intent for an Assembly Contract with Fisker Automotive" (Press release). Valmet Automotive. 2008-07-15. http://www.valmet-automotive.com/automotive/bulletin.nsf/PEBD/5979AF477BFC7C95C2257487001AE95E?opendocument. 
  4. ^ Mitchell, Josh (2009-09-25). "Gore-Backed Car Firm Gets Large U.S. Loan - WSJ.com". Online.wsj.com. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125383160812639013.html. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  5. ^ a b Muller, Joann (2009-06-08). "The Next Detroit". Forbes.com. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/0608/070-automakers-fisker-karmas-the-next-detroit.html. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  6. ^ a b Muller, Joann (2009-06-08). "The Next Detroit (page 2)". Forbes.com. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/0608/070-automakers-fisker-karmas-the-next-detroit_2.html. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  7. ^ Godske, Bjørn. Fisker's hybrid for sale in two months (in Danish) Ing.dk, 3 January 2011. Accessed: 4 January 2011.
  8. ^ "Fisker buys old GM plant". Winston-Salem Journal. 2009-10-28. http://www2.journalnow.com/content/2009/oct/28/fisker-buys-old-gm-plant/business. Retrieved 2009-10-28. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Fisker, BMW partner on extended-range cars". Autos.ca. 2011-09-06. http://www.autos.ca/general-news/fisker-bmw-partner-on-extended-range-cars. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 
  10. ^ Migliore, Greg (2008-04-16). "Tesla sues Fisker, alleges theft of trade secrets". AutoWeek: News & Views. http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/200804161045/FREE/512789873. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  11. ^ a b "Department of Energy - ATVM Loan Program". Atvmloan.energy.gov. http://www.atvmloan.energy.gov/. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  12. ^ "The Ultimate Posting on Plug-In Hybrid Developments: Clip & Save". Calcars.org. http://www.calcars.org/calcars-news/1072.html. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  13. ^ "Department of Energy - Vice President Biden Announces Reopening of Former GM Boxwood Plant". Department of Energy. 2009-10-27. http://www.energy.gov/news2009/8222.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 

External links


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