Volvo’s Chinese owner could buy Fisker

Fisker Atlantic Angle Front ShotFisker Automotive is weighing bids from two Chinese companies that could provide the maker of the Karma with some much-needed cash. Sources close to Fisker told Reuters that Geely, owner of Volvo, is currently the preferred partner.

Over the last three weeks, Fisker received bids from Geely and Dongfeng Motor Group. Both bids were worth between $200 million and $300 million. Either deal would come with a majority stake in the Californian car company. Fisker apparently belives Geely is more serious about its technology and mission.

A source also told Reuters that Geely can make decisions more quickly, because it isn’t hampered by the multi-layered bureaucratic structure of state-owned Dongfeng. Geely has already sent a team to Fisker’s Anaheim headquarters.

In addition to China, Fisker has been courting bidders in Europe and South Korea. However, the two Chinese bids are the only serious offers to surface so far. Fisker would like to complete a deal by mid-March, according to Reuters.

Fisker needs a partner to provide resources, including cash, access to parts suppliers, and technical expertise, to get a second model into production. The Atlantic will use the same plug-in hybrid tech as the Karma, but will be smaller, will cost less, and will be mass-produced.

The Atlantic will use a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine as its range extender, and that arrangement will remain in place even if the Chinese deal goes through.

Even if an alliance with Geely or Dongfeng doesn’t happen, Fisker will have a relationship with a Chinese company. Battery supplier A123 Systems was recently bought by Wanxiang Group, and Fisker will have to renegotiate its contract with the new owners.