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Summary:

It’s now clear that the delays for Fisker’s electric car the Karma have veered the company off track. But just how far is Fisker from its original goals?

Ray Lane's Fisker Karma

It’s now clear that the delays for Fisker’s electric car the Karma have veered the company off track. But just how far is Fisker from its original goals? To answer this question, I’ve taken a look back at our coverage, and also read over the conditional commitment letter between Fisker and the DOE (from September 2009) and put together these numbers:

  • Fisker was founded in 2007. Back in the Spring of 2009 Fisker was estimating to make its first Karma production models by the end of 2009 and enter full-scale production of the Karma — about 1,200 cars per month — by June 2010. The goal was to sell 15,000 Karma’s in 2011.
  • According to the September 2009 Conditional Commitment letter, Fisker was supposed to hit a milestone of vehicle sales of its Karma of 11,000 units by September 2011.
  • In 2009, Fisker was looking to be profitable on 5,000 cars sold in 2011.
  • One of the milestones named on the DOE’s Conditional Commitment Letter in September 2009 was that Fisker’s minimum EBIDTA by the end of 2011 has to be $25 million.
  • At the end of 2009 Fisker bumped the Karma launch to September 2010.
  • The first Karma’s were delivered in the Summer of 2011. We were there and saw Kleiner Perkins partner Ray Lane get his car.
  • The rest of the Karma deliveries in the Summer of 2011 were delayed because the car lacked federal and state certification.
  • By September 2011, Fisker was estimating to fulfill orders for the Karma of 3,000 by the end of 2011.
  • By November 2011, battery maker A123 Systems had to lower its fourth-quarter and year-2011 guidance by $45 million because of the decreased Fisker volume. A123 Systems said Fisker wouldn’t ramp up volume production until Q2 2012.
  • By the end of 2011, Fisker said it had sent 225 Karmas to its dealers and had another 1,200 “in the pipeline.”
  • Fisker was hit by two production problems at the of 2011 and early 2012. One was a battery defect that forced Fisker to recall and fix the issue for 239 cars. The other was a software glitch that needed to be fixed in early January.
  • Now for 2012, Fisker spokesperson is telling reporters this week that Fisker is making “20 to 25” Karmas a day. The goal for Fisker is to produce 60 cars a day at some point. Will it ever get there?
  • For Project Nina, Fisker received the DOE loan to manufacture at a volume of 75,000 to 100,000 per year starting in 2012.
  • This week Fisker said that it’s suspended working on Project Nina and laid off workers until it can either renegotiate the loan or find alternative funding for Project Nina.

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  1. Great job gathering the facts. Hopefully, they’ll put the whole Nina project on ice until they are profitable on the Karma & can fix the early manufacturing bugs.
    No point in starting a new project when their first car has such a poor MPG.

  2. Katie Fehrenbacher Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    @Nick Prudent. Agreed. I think it was a stretch to try to plan a 100,000 volume second car before the first was built.

  3. Ouch, 225 vehicles delivered versus 5000 planned.

    1. Katie Fehrenbacher alberth Tuesday, February 7, 2012

      And it was originally 15,000 planned to ship in 2011 back in the day. Then 3,000 even by Sept 2011.

  4. Even with all the delays, I think they shipped cars before they were ready. Besides the minor glitches, some customers are reporting critical issues such as: the car refusing to shift into drive, the speedometer freezing because the touchscreen infotainment system locked up, the car breaking down on the highway with a full tank of gas because the generator didn’t turn on when the battery ran out, etc…

    On top of this is seems the communication from Fisker with it’s customers has been rather poor. I really hope they get their act together, because this may reflect poorly on the entire EV industry.

  5. Katie you seem to hate this company and have a personal vendetta against them. I hear your husband works for tesla.

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