Fisker Automotive’s new parent company, Wanxiang, has been saying it will re-launch production of the Karma electric vehicle in the U.S., and it looks like they’ve finally picked their spot — California.
The original Karma was built in Finland, but the vast majority of its sales were actually in the Golden State, so it makes sense that the reborn range-extending sedan, which may go by the name “Elux,” would move closer to its biggest fans.
The Moreno Valley factory will bring with it 150 full-time manufacturing jobs when production kicks off, which will reportedly occur sometime next year. But then again, the original Karma was supposed to debut in 2009, and Fisker didn’t begin deliveries until mid-2011, so don’t count on a 2016 launch.
Fisker Chief Marketing Officer James Taylor said “California’s natural beauty, trend setting, technology, and environmental focus are perfectly aligned with our Karma re-launch.” Taylor also noted that the plant would be close to Fisker’s engineering and design headquarters in Costa Mesa. He didn’t mention that Tesla builds its cars in the same area.
In the time since the original Fisker went bust in 2014, and was circling the drain, Tesla of course has been very busy. Constantly improving its original models and developing new vehicles like the upcoming Model X crossover, Model 3, and the Model 3-based crossover, Tesla has more than a few reasons why EV buyers would overlook Fisker. Even the Karma’s striking, mustache-endowed face may not be enough lure consumers in the numbers it once did.
Recently, Fisker Automotive reached out to existing Karma owners, offering them a customer support program that included a list of service centers for the Karma. And Wanxiang is obviously willing to invest serious money to make Fisker relevant, but only time will tell if the firm can extend itself beyond the limits of a niche automaker.
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