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Chinese auto parts giant Wanxiang plans to “immediately” restart production of the Fisker Karma as soon as the deal is closed to acquire the beleaguered electric car startup, the head of Wanxiang America, Pin Li, told me in an interview. The deal is expected to close in the next 30 to 60 days, and Wanxiang partly won the $149 million bid in recent days because it could get production started back up quickly.
The original Fisker Karma’s (the 2,000 or so that were made) were manufactured in Finland by Finnish auto manufacturer Valmet Automotive. Wanxiang will be talking to and working with Valmet for restarting production of the Karma. Fisker stopped producing the car over a year ago as it ran out of cash and struggled with problems with the car and problems with publicity.
When I asked Li about Fisker’s planned second car, the Atlantic, he said that Wanxiang would do the best it can to move toward production but that it was probably still years away from getting to the market. Li also said that Wanxiang would likely still use the Fisker and Karma brands to sell these new cars.
Here’s the back story on Fisker, which I published last year: A look under the hood — why electric car maker Fisker crashed and burned. Will consumers want to buy Karma’s after all that drama?