By on May 28, 2013

Fisker Karma Courtesy

During all the turmoil facing hybrid automaker Fisker Automotive recently, from closing its doors to a possible resuscitation led by Bob Lutz, one thing has remained constant: the rapidly collapsing values of the Fisker Karma cars themselves.

It appears that Fisker dealers are starting to dump their new $102,000-plus MSRP Karmas through the auction network. According to auction giant Manheim, 23 Karmas were peddled on their blocks during the week ending May 22. The 15 that were brand new on MSOs sold for an average of $61,200 while 8 extremely low mileage pre-owned examples commanded an average of $57,600. Prior to Fisker’s announced closure, used Karmas were bringing an average of $79,000.

The independent dealers and wholesalers who purchased the vehicles thinking that a 40% discount off MSRP means they can turn them for a profit better hurry: Manheim projects Fisker wholesale values will drop to $28,400 by next May.

I have never considered buying a Karma but at that price, and if I have confidence in whatever dealer body or service arrangements are available next year, I might think about it. How about you?

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24 Comments on “Tales From The Cooler: Instant Karma Depreciation...”

  • avatar

    The Volt Fastback is a toxic combo of sexy form and impotent function. When a car’s quality is only skin-deep, outside of hardcore fanboys it will do nothing but get cheap – a Fiero for the 21st Century.

    For 28k you could get a used NSX and have a much better, reliable, and fun car.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      Um, the Volt functions pretty well, and it smokes most cars at traffic lights when they’re not being clutchdropped or launch moded.. I do wish GM would ungimp the motor control though, the RAV4EV is quicker to 60 by nearly 2 seconds, has near-identical motor specs, and weight 200+ lbs more..

      • 0 avatar

        Maybe the Volt does function pretty well, but it won’t beat most cars with a similar form factor for the same price – which is not ‘most cars.’ The Volt’s aesthetic motif of a trash-compacted Aztek also makes it, well, ’nuff said.

        And for something that costs upwards of two-and-a-half times as much as a Volt, it should have more internal sophistication than basically the same thing with a tiny supercharger on the same (though I’m sure re-mapped) Ecotec. Remember, a potential Volt Fastback buyer would be cross-shopping these things with Tesla Model S’s. I laugh.

        • 0 avatar
          Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

          It beats most cars with similar formfactors and prices when it comes to reliability, operating costs and fuel economy. Find me an ICE-powered car that performs as well with fuel costs of 4 cents per mile or less. Hell, find me _any_ ICE-powered car that costs 4 cents per mile to operate. You have to go down to Vespas or 250cc motorcycles to get there. I spent ~$300 for gasoline in 2012, and at least half of that went into the motorcycle. The power bill for ~10k miles was about $250 (half charging at home, half charging at work for ‘free’). And none of that electric-bill money went towards arming terrorists or paying for some Saudi’s gold buttplug.

          Of course, if your use case doesn’t fit the Volt profile, then it’s not for you. If I had a 50+mi highway commute each way, it wouldn’t work for me, and I’d have gotten a diesel instead.

  • avatar

    I wouldn’t buy one for more than its value at a scrap dealer. How much are the battery raw materials worth? The aluminum? The Cobalt SS motor? The electric motors? That’s the value of a Karma, if you can get it apart before it gets wet and incinerates.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s all it’s worth at the end of its service life – which is when the first thing breaks on it – and that could be any time.

    • 0 avatar

      So, no chance of this?

      • 0 avatar

        There were 50 Tuckers built, not 2,000. I don’t have the patience, or life expectancy, to wait 65 years for a big return either. This car is more likely to track like the Bricklin SV-1, which trades around $12K after almost 40 years.

  • avatar

    One of these actually cut me off on Saturday heading into Oakland. I didn’t recognize it until I caught it at the light on the off ramp, gave me a good chuckle to know somebody flushed about a hundred grand down the toilet… and drives this gigantic wheeled thing on our awful Pittsburgh roads.

    The fact the people in the know are dumping their inventory at the block is never a good sign for a fledgling auto company. I think Mannheim’s estimate is conservative, I could see these POS’s doing 20K or less if the company shutters its doors.

  • avatar

    There’s a Karma on a private used car lot down the road from me. Nice looking car, but what a debacle. I actually feel a little sorry for them. I can’t see how it will ever sell.

  • avatar

    When I can part out the hybrid drive-train and do an LS swap for less than 30K out the door, I’ll jump on it. It is a beautiful car, it just has the wrong drive-train.

  • avatar

    Would have to agree with the others about gutting the eco garbage and putting a proper V8 into it.

    The weight savings by ditching all the batteries would probably turn this thing into a beast.

    I’m sure someone out there is already planning or has done a conversion like that.

    • 0 avatar

      From a pure style point of view, a push-rod V8 doesn’t ‘fit’ the aesthetics of a Fisker. Its a Euro-sexy looking thing, it needs a high-RPM flatplane 8 or even a V12 in it I think.

      • 0 avatar

        Well, the Mulsanne still rocks the OHV design.

        • 0 avatar

          Mulsanne is a three-ton highway wafter, and looks the part. OHV makes sense there, even if it were a Japanese car it still makes sense. But for anything this side of a ‘Vette that looks as lithe and high-strung as a Fisker, it should likewise have a powertrain to match.

          • 0 avatar

            Oh come now, theres nothing unfitting about a push-rod V8, this whole idea that just because a technology is old, that somehow it isn’t good, is bologna.

            Compare the DOHC toyota 5.7, to the 5.3 or 6.0 GM.

            Both of the GM’s will get better gas mileage and one of them is usually setup as a towing motor.
            The DOHC is nearing its N/A limit, whereas the SBC has quite a ways to go, as far as power is concerned.

          • 0 avatar

            Hold on here, I never said pushrod motors suck. I actually like GM’s LS series engines very, very much. For power-to-weight and thermodynamic efficiency they are competitive with anything that puts out remotely comparable power.

            But I’m talking about aesthetic factors here, and a Fisker Karma looks like a high-strung lithe Euro-trash thing, it should have a high-strung high-revvy engine to match.

      • 0 avatar

        Not seeing any OHC V8 I can think of under that hood line. LS7 is a natural swap IMHO.

  • avatar

    Virgil, I would ask the question a little differently. Insteaad of, “Would you consider it?,” I would be interested in knowing, “What would you have to be thinking?!” By the way, I’m neither an EV hater nor a Karma hater (I think the thing is gorgeous), but it is a kit car, made by a startup, that never had a service organization to speak of, that now will likely have NO service organization, and technology that nobody else will know how to fix, that will require software that nobody will have. I don’t have 20 grand to throw away any more than I have 100 grand to throw away.

  • avatar

    did anyone else notice on their website that scrolling over the tomorrow link for their future it shows a text box saying tomorrow never dies…someone has a sense of humor. Although my god the Surf is gorgeous my feeling is this is another gen y vehicle but we are not at the point to afford it…if a major car company could use a focus or versa and use only recycled materials while keeping the costs down your would have a hit with a lot of people my age

  • avatar

    I hate to agree because I love the car but after watching Jay Leno`s review and noticing that the hood didn’t close right,the trunk didn’t close right you would have thought that Fisker would have brought their best….but maybe it was…

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