Fisker Delays Bringing Karmas To China, Should Forget About It

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
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fisker delays bringing karmas to china should forget about it

Fisker wanted to sell its $100,000-plus Karma plug-in hybrid in China by the end of this year. It’s not happening. Fisker “encountered a slight delay in obtaining final certification to sell cars in China” spokesman Roger Ormisher told Reuters. The company now targets “the first quarter of next year to take advantage of China’s rapidly growing market for luxury cars.” Good luck with that.

Before Fisker tries again, CEO Tony Posawatz should check in with his old colleagues at GM. They will tell him that the Chinese are particular when it comes to what they call “New Energy” vehicles. They want them made in China. Under a Chinese brand. Hint: The Sail EV is not a Chevy, but a “Shanghai GM Sail SRINGO EV.” As such, it qualifies for a hefty $16,000 subsidy. As a Chevrolet: No money. Hint: Nissan’s Leaf will be a Venucia car when it arrives in China, and it will be built in China.

A plugin hybrid like the Karma would qualify for slightly lower, but still juicy subsidies. If its made in China under a Chinese brand. An imported $100,000 Karma could easily turn into a $150,000 and higher car once import duties and taxes are paid, and it gets nothing in subsidies.

Still trying to get Karmas to China?

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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4 of 8 comments
  • Cmoibenlepro Cmoibenlepro on Nov 29, 2012

    Release a gold plated version and some Chinese will buy it.

  • Daveainchina Daveainchina on Nov 29, 2012

    If Fisker can manage to be an uplevel brand with a luxury perception in China. That extra $$$$ import duty tax won't matter. The people who purchase at that price range care more about image than price, so I'm not sure I find your argument all that compelling in the case of Fisker. If Fisker was a more volume oriented product.. ie Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt I would agree with you, but it's not. It's a luxury item as such, price in China is nearly irrelevant right now, as long as it can market itself in a way to become something to brag about it will do just fine.

  • Kyree Kyree on Nov 29, 2012

    I guess they saw China as a big cash-cow since luxury-car-shopping is at an all-time high and image is everything. Too bad they didn't do their homework...

  • Dimwit Dimwit on Nov 30, 2012

    Fisker wants a JV. They need batteries badly. It's a doddle to sell things to yourself instead of having to recertify and import from new suppliers. They've just left it too late. There may be no Fisker by this time next year.