Prince Albert of Monaco and Henrik Fisker drive Fisker Karma on Monaco Grand Prix circuit, May 2011Enlarge Photo
Although its much-delayed first model, the 2011 Karma plug-in hybrid luxury sports sedan, hasn't quite reached dealers yet, Fisker Automotive is powering ahead.
The company announced today that it would post job listings for what will be roughly 120 positions at its Wilmington, Delaware, assembly plant where it plans to build its second model, known by the code name "Project Nina."
The first group to be hired will include engineering staff, 40 technicians with electromechanical expertise, and some early production workers. A further 80 assembly-line workers will be added between this October and next February.
Fisker's new Wilmington Plant (aerial view)
The Nina model is planned as a premium midsize sedan, and the company says it will go into production by the end of next year and go on sale in 2013. As much as half of the total production will be exported to other countries, Fisker said.
It too is expected to use the company's range-extended electric vehicle system, in which 40 or 50 miles of pure electric range is provided by a lithium-ion battery pack, after which an engine switches on to run a generator that provides current to the electric motor(s) that power the car.
As Vice President Joe Biden accidentally revealed in a ceremony at the Delaware plant, the Nina lineup will include a sedan, a couple, and a crossover.
Fisker took possession of the Delaware plant last July, and says it has since recycled more than 11 million pounds of steel, iron, aluminum, and wood.
The company, founded by designer Henrik Fisker, now has more than 200 employees at its headquarters in Irvine, California, and expects the total to hit 300 by the end of this month. It also has an additional 300 people working as contractors.
The 2011 Fisker Karma is built in Finland by contractor Valmet, but Fisker has said in the past that it might bring Karma assembly in-house later on.