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Fisker Promises 15,000 Karmas for 2012, Changes Story On Production Delays

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2012 Fisker Karma

2012 Fisker Karma

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Fisker Automotive, maker of the plug-in Karma sports sedan, hasn’t had an easy time of late, thanks to the Karma’s rather low EPA fuel economy rating and slower-than-expected initial production volumes. 

But that is all behind the firm, company Chairman Ray Lane told Reuters yesterday. In an interview with the news agency, Lane confirmed that Fisker was confident about meeting its 15,000 Karma production target for next year. 

“In production of a first vehicle, everything doesn’t go the way you plan,” Lane explained. “Next year, we’ll do exactly what we plan.”

Lane’s own assertions come a week after Fisker spokesman Roger Ormischer spoke out against a GigaOm article which suggested that the company was delaying production of its 2012 Karma extended-range sedan until the middle of next year. 

2012 Fisker Karma

2012 Fisker Karma

Enlarge Photo

Unlike Ormisher, who blamed various U.S. and state regulatory agencies for taking longer than expected to certify the Fisker Karma as legal to sell, Lane paints a picture in which Fisker’s Karma production was set back by manufacturing issues. 

Reuters reports that Lane blamed the initial production delays on faulty electrical harnesses and headlight units, both of which needed to be rectified before the cars could progress through production. 

If that wasn’t enough to dramatically delay production, Lane said a shipment of leather destined for the car’s interior trim and seats was damaged in a flood. 

“The leather was useless,” Lane complained. “We had 250 cars parked and waiting for leather.”

With 150 cars being produced a week at its Finish factory, Lane claims that a total of 1,500 cars will be delivered worldwide before the end of 2011. By the start of next year, Fisker’s production lines are expected to be running fast enough to meet the 15,000 car production goals for 2012. 

2012 Fisker Karma

2012 Fisker Karma

Enlarge Photo

But with the 2012 Fisker Karma recently receiving a less-than exemplary qualification from the California Air Resources Board to add to its already unimpressive eco-image, Fisker’s biggest challenge might not be making cars, but persuading consumers that the Karma is “green-enough”.

 

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Comments (7)
  1. I just had my first test drive in a Fisker Karma, it left me very tempted to make one of those 15,000 Karmas produced next year, mine. : )
     
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  2. I believe Fisker will sell out their production. No one is comparing the Fisker Karma to a Prius, Cruze or any other fuel efficient vehicle. They are comparing it to other luxury cars that burn gas on their short commutes. Under 50 miles, the Karma doesn't burn gas.
     
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  3. The Fisker sales representative I spoke with said that they have received a deposit from nearly every customer who has had a test drive.
     
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  4. @CDspeed... although I'd be hesitant to believe a salesperson telling you that "everyone wants this car," in this case and given the styling and limited supply and uniqueness, it may be correct.
    But people insist on comparing the Karma to a LEAF or similar EV, which is ridiculous. If I don't get the Volt I'll likely get a BMW/Audi EV, as Jason notes above. Nothing against those low-end EVs, either, but unlike many here, I am fine with luxury, relatively iefficient EVs existing as well. Since they still replace gasoline/diesel vehicles in the end. Big picture, people, would you prefer potential Karma owners to just buy another 5 series or S4/A6?
    CD, if you get this, keep all of us informed!
     
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  5. I said "nearly every customer who has had a test drive". The salesman was only referring to those who have test driven the car it would be impossible to claim that everyone wants one.
     
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  6. "Fisker’s biggest challenge might not be making cars, but persuading consumers that the Karma is “green-enough”: ain't that the truth...This car succeeds in being both a gas hog ánd an electricity hog. This might raise some eyebrows among the planet conscious rich and it will have some very negative consequences for Fisker in markets where taxation is related to CO2 emissions.

    Fisker needs to make a choice here: either choose gas or go for electric but the kind of Frankenstein engineering of stuffing elements of both concepts in the same car just makes it heavy, complex and expensive. Elon Musk called the concept neither fish nor fowl and indeed the Karma is shaping up to be something he won't loose any sleep over.
     
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  7. Ah, yes, the "I don't like EREVs, so nobody else should either" viewpoint. Feel free to slide over to the Jay Leno article at any time and stop back. People driving BMW 5-series and above, Jaguar, Audi, etc. won't generally be buying a LEAF, Mitsubishi EV, etc... Myself included.
    By your reasoning, I guess all of us should just give up on EVs and keep driving with gasoline/diesel. Yeah, that sure would make this a better place.
    Yet another reader who just can't respect others' choices. Personally, if the Karma fits some consumers' lifestyles, then it's a decent choice for them. OEMs make diesel, gas, but in your pure world they can't combine two powertrains?
    If it works for you, then good for you. Fisker, Prius, Tesla, everyone.
     
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