By on June 13, 2016

Fisker Karma. Photo courtesy

It’s been a long wait since Henrik Fisker’s brainchild floated — bloated and belly-first — to the surface of the automotive pool, but we’re told a new plug-in hybrid statusmobile is on the way. That means new jobs coming to the Detroit area for as long as Henrik can keep the money rolling.

Last week, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation pledged $450,000 in funding so that Karma Automotive LLC — formerly Fisker Automotive — can build an engineering and purchasing building in Troy. The city plans to offer additional funds to see the $3.6 million project get off the ground, where the reborn company plans to employ up to 150 people.

The luxury automaker, which changed its identity after its 2013 bankruptcy and subsequent purchase by Chinese firm Wanxiang, plans to unveil its new Karma Revero later this summer. Well, “new” means different things to different people. The Revero is expected to be an updated version of the ill-fated Fisker Karma, which saw a 2012 model year run of under 2,000 vehicles.

The Fisker saga, which would make a good stage play, saw the problem plagued, Finnish-built vehicles touted by celebs and the federal government alike. Both lost a lot of money on the deal. The U.S. Department of Energy lost about $139 million of its $528 million conditional loan after it froze Fisker’s cash flow.

Wanxiang bought Fisker’s assets at auction for $149 million.

Now that the old name’s been jettisoned and government incentives are again flowing, Karma can work on getting the Revero built at its Moreno Valley, California production facility. Tooling and equipment was sent over from the old facility in Finland. Though details on the new model are scarce, we know it will gain its electrical components from BMW.

That should keep DiCaprio from being stranded in the rain.

[Source: CBS, HybridCars] [Image: Wikimedia]

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29 Comments on “Fisker Rebirth Watch: Will Karma Strike Again?...”

  • avatar

    Michigan likes throwing money at these electric things. Detroit Electric, right? And that Elio one? Now this charade.

    Chinese companies who promise to bring back so-and-so car don’t ever really do it. Saab is an example, and so is Triumph/Rover.

    I will say the Karma has incredible presence in person, and is very beautiful. It just needed an LSV8 and all would have been well. The empty Fisker Automotive signage and space is still at the King’s Auto Mall, attached to the right hand side of the Porsche dealership there.

    • 0 avatar

      Triumph (automobiles) is currently owned by BMW, not the Chinese.

      Maybe you’re thinking of MG/Rover? MG is selling cars again, but the name “Rover” is disallowed due to conflict with Land Rover. Roewe is the successor, which evidently sounds very similar to “Rover” in Chinese. They also have a lineup which pretty much mirrors that of sister-brand MG.

    • 0 avatar

      It does have quite a presence, with all those curves. It looks larger in person than it really is. Bob Lutz’s LSx-powered Destino would have been cool, but the front end styling of the Destino was as boring and generic as the Karma’s was weird and sinister.

    • 0 avatar

      Michigan spent money on Elio? Huh? Their supposed plant is in Louisiana….One city in Michigan is coming up with money for Fisker(and not the whole amount at that) to get the project going. Not the taxpayers from every other city outside of Troy. Detroit Electric? You mean the electric car company headquartered in the Netherlands with production in the U.K? When did Michigan give them money?

    • 0 avatar

      As far as I know, neither Elio nor Detroit Electric has received anything from the state of Michigan or the Mich Economic Development Corp.

      Elio is nominally based in Troy, Michigan but they just have some office space there, I’m guessing they use it to meet with suppliers. The company is run from Arizona, where Paul Elio lives. Their latest series of 25 prototypes, which will be close to production design, will be built in a facility in Livonia, next door to the company that’s been fabricating their previous prototypes. As far as I know there has been no government involvement.

      Detroit Electric had (has?) offices in the Fisher Building, but since they never even identified a local production facility, I doubt they got anything more than location assistance and the like from Wayne County.

  • avatar

    Nice looking wheels. Hope this one sticks.

  • avatar

    I can’t say I totally approve of the now-discontinued DOE investment program, overall but vs. your average Venture Cap fund, it actually did okay. Some of the investments went quite well, and even this one was only a loss of 20%.

  • avatar

    How did these fare against the early Model S in terms of power and range?

    I loved everything about the styling except for the intakes up front – they always looked like some 1920s silent-film villain’s mustache.

    • 0 avatar

      Snidely Whiplash!

      These are different from the Model S, in that they had an ICE (2.0 Ecotec) engine acting as a range extender, where the Model S is strictly battery-electric. All-electric range was 32-52 miles, and 230 with a full tank of gas and a fully-charged battery:

  • avatar

    “That means new jobs coming to the Detroit area for as long as Henrik can keep the money rolling.”

    AFAIK, Henrik Fisker is no longer connected with the company. Which is good, since he has no business running an automaker. Designer? Yes. Automaker? No.

  • avatar

    The few listed on eBay right now are going for $35k to $80k.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    This was a failed project from jump. The car’s interior space is so small that the EPA classified it as subcompact. And the performance was lackluster. Other than its exaggerated proportions (which, IMO, made it look like a final-gen Grand Prix that tried to be too fancy), it really had no redeeming qualities.

    Last I recall, Bob Lutz and somebody else were trying to buy the company and install Corvette powertrains into the Karma. I suppose that didn’t work out?

    • 0 avatar

      It did, the VLF Destino just rolled a “production example” off the line a few days ago.

  • avatar

    I recall seeing some interior shots of one of these showing build quality that looked a bit like someone let a ten-year-old loose in the fabric section at a craft store, or maybe reminiscent of the vinyl in one of those ’70s custom vans. I don’t know if they were all like that, but I can’t imagine having paid what was asked and being happy with it.

  • avatar

    What people, politicians included, don’t seem to realize is that so far only Tesla has proven itself to be the exception to the rule, in the sense that it holds a certain promise. Despite its cumulative losses. Don’t forget that the general feeling is that you cannot make money with the production of electric cars only.

  • avatar

    Hey if they can get production restarted Bob Lutz will have some new bodies to drop V8 engines into!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The emperor has no clothes; these things are ugly.

    This is just another mythical rebirth along the lines of Saab.

    Year-to-date, 8 different plug-in cars have outsold the Fisker’s entire run.

  • avatar

    Sorry, but I don’t find a car with a Clark Gable mustache attractive.

  • avatar

    The Revero looks like the product of a Camaro crossed with a Quattroporte (or any of the 3 or 4 identical 4-doors out there). The offspring is now a gangly, awkward teenager who badly needs braces.

  • avatar


    The Karma by all means should have succeeded. PHEV without range anxiety.

    Instead, the IDIOTS built a tiny sports car and watched Tesla eat their lunch…and dinner…and breakfast…

  • avatar

    Well, I don’t know about Fisker cars, but I sure love their scissors!

  • avatar

    “Strike,” as in strike a match, as in catch fire?

    Yeah, probably.

  • avatar

    Any word on the fate of Wilmington Assembly? USA Today says it was part of the sale and now belongs to Wanxiang, but the only thing they seem to be doing with it is letting the grass grow in the parking lot.

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