Fisker Poised to Build Karma Plug-In Next Year

November 13, 2008
Move over, Tesla--Fisker Automotive just announced the signing of final assembly contracts with Valmet Automotive of Finland. Valmet will serve as engineering and manufacturing supplier for Fisker, who plan to begin building their four-door plug-in hybrid sports car, the Fisker Karma, in the last quarter of 2009. Delivery will begin at that time, and annual production is claimed to be 15,000.

Valmet will be instituting a new welding line at its production facility and is said to be adding some 500 blue-collar workers to its force to assemble the Fisker Karma. Both companies are said to benefit from this cooperation, and Valmet emphasizes that the challenges of a complex hybrid drivetrain, battery technology, and a lightweight body of a new design aren't small. But they claim to be up to the task, and promise to meet Fisker's start-of-production date.

Fisker announces this good news as fellow Irvine, Calif., electric car maker Tesla struggles under recent layoffs and a changing of the CEO guard. Tesla was also set to come out with a sedan, but it looks as though Fisker will beat them to the punch.

Valmet is an engineer and manufacturer of premium vehicles in Finland. The company has been in operation for 40 years, and has produced more than 1 million vehicles to date. Currently, Valmet produces the Porsche Boxster and Cayman in cooperation with Porsche AG. That definitely ain't bad company, Fisker.--Colin Mathews

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