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Fisker finalises sale to new Chinese owner

Finnish finish: Wanxiang, the new owner of Fisker’s failed car-making operations (left), has said the Karma coupe could come back – but with a supercharged V8 instead of a hybrid electric under the bonnet.

Failed California EV company Fisker pulls plug for $US150m

Fisker logo25 Mar 2014

FAILED US electric car-maker Fisker Automotive has sold almost all its assets to a Chinese car-parts maker for $US150 million ($A164 million), the company announced overnight.

A short statement from the California-based company, which produced the $US100,000 Karma as an electric four-seat coupe with a range-extending 2.0-litre petrol engine under the bonnet, said its transaction to sell “substantially all of their assets” to a subsidiary of Wanxiang America Corp had closed.

"The completion of this transaction represents a significant achievement and is a great result for all Fisker Automotive stakeholders," Fisker Automotive restructuring officer Marc Beilinson said.

"This successful outcome would not have been possible without the productive support from Wanxiang, our Creditors' Committee, and their advisers."Fisker fell into disarray last year after it ran into cash-flow problems, allegedly linked to the $US600,000 cost of building each car that rolled off its Finnish production line but also linked to the bankruptcy of its battery supplier, A123 Systems.

The Karma, the first of two models the company planned to build before it folded, used a pair of 120kW electric motors to power the rear wheels.

Unlike vehicles such as the Holden Volt and the recently launched Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the General Motors-sourced Ecotec petrol engine did not provide any propulsion to the wheels, and acted purely as an electric generator.

Reports suggest that since it first expressed interest in buying the Californian company, Wanxiang has teamed up with long-time Fisker critic and former GM vice-president of global product development Bob Lutz to remake the Karma, although this time with a supercharged V8 engine under the bonnet.

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