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Summary:

Project Nina — the $47,400 plug-in hybrid vehicle that startup Fisker Automotive aims to launch in 2012 — has a home. The Irvine, Calif.-based startup announced this morning that it will buy an old General Motors assembly plant in Wilmington, Del., for $18 million drawing funds […]

Project Nina — the $47,400 plug-in hybrid vehicle that startup Fisker Automotive aims to launch in 2012 — has a home. The Irvine, Calif.-based startup announced this morning that it will buy an old General Motors assembly plant in Wilmington, Del., for $18 million drawing funds from the $528.7 million conditional loan it received from the Department of Energy last month. Word got out yesterday that Fisker was in advanced talks to buy the GM facility for the project, and a White House insider told Reuters that Vice President Joe Biden would be on hand at the shuttered facility this morning to announce its reopening. Now we’ve got details.

Fisker_Karma044

According to Fisker’s release this morning, the startup expects to invest $175 million over the next three years retooling the facility, which was previously used to assemble Saturn, Pontiac and Opel GT models. By 2014, Fisker plans to have the plant cranking out 75,000-100,000 vehicles per year by 2014. But Fisker aims to sell less than half of those stateside. The rest are slated for export.

Fisker’s inaugural plug-in hybrid model, the high-end Fisker Karma, is scheduled to launch this summer in the U.S. and Europe — with Finland’s Valmet Automotive responsible for assembly.

Gary Casteel, the UAW director responsible for the plant — part of the group of “bad” assets left in bankruptcy after the “New GM” emerged from bankruptcy — praised Fisker’s goals for foreign markets, saying union workers and Fisker are partnering “to create a greener America by building a plug-in hybrid car that will compete globally.”

If Project Nina unfolds as planned, the “family oriented sedan” (which Fisker has yet to design but says it has begun engineering) will also amp up the competition at home, potentially going head to head with GM’s own extended-range electric Chevy Volt sedan, priced in the same ballpark and slated to launch next year.

Fisker Karma photo courtesy of Fisker Automotive

  1. [...] expect the “family friendly” version to post those sort of numbers.  According to earth2tech.com Fisker has yet to begin design on their “Project Nina” slated for the new plant, but [...]

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  2. [...] 16 miles down the turnpike in Delaware from the old General Motors where startup Fisker Automotive plans to build an upcoming plug-in hybrid vehicle, Elon Musk, CEO of rival Tesla Motors, yesterday told an audience at the University of Delaware [...]

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  3. [...] Plug-in hybrid car startup Fisker Automotive had expected to launch its first vehicle, the luxury Fisker Karma, in 2009. But according to founder and CEO Henrik Fisker, who spoke yesterday at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the launch is now scheduled for September 2010. What we can expect this year, he told Reuters at the event — which opens to the public today — is the name of a battery supplier for Fisker’s upcoming models, including the $87,900 Karma and the Project Nina sedan, expected to carry a price tag of around $47,400. [...]

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  4. [...] Selling at less than $35,000 (the third-generation Prius starts at $22,400), the plug-in Prius could undercut some of the highest-profile plug-in models slated to roll out in the next five years, including General Motors’ extended-range electric Volt (expected to cost around $40,000) and Fisker Automotive’s $47,400 plug-in hybrid Project Nina vehicle. [...]

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  5. [...] announced a manufacturing site (an old General Motors plant in Wilmington, Del.) for its Project Nina model back in October, less than two months after the DOE announced its loan agreement. But Fisker offers us an example [...]

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  6. [...] The company announced a manufacturing site (an old General Motors plant in Wilmington, Del.) for its Project Nina model back in October. And last month, Fisker finally announced a deal with Massachusetts battery developer A123Systems [...]

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  7. [...] Delaware, to announce that the company has started conducting environmental assessments of a former General Motors plant in the area, where the startup plans to build its mid-range plug-in sedan called Project Nina (see video clip, [...]

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  8. [...] expected to invest $175 million over three years retooling the plant, which fell into the group of “bad” assets left in bankruptcy after the “New GM” emerged from [...]

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