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Fisker Karma Assembly Stalled Til Bankrupt Battery Maker A123 Is Sold

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2012 Fisker Karma EcoSport

2012 Fisker Karma EcoSport

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Prodution lines at Fisker Automotive have lain silent for a month, the company revealed yesterday at the LA Auto Show.

Fisker CEO Tony Pasowatz said that the hold-up is due to bankrupt battery maker A123 Systems, which is currently in the process of being sold.

A123 exclusively provides the battery packs for Fisker's Karma range-extended electric sedan--and the lack of supply has stalled production.

Bloomberg reports that Fisker intends to restart production as quickly as possible once the A123 sale has gone through.

The company does have an inventory, but one which Pasowatz describes as "[getting] a little low."

The A123 auction is set to take place on December 6, with American parts firm Johnson Controls Inc. and Chinese parts company, Wanxiang Group Co. are expected to be the main bidders.

Fisker expects to know the outcome of the auction by the middle of December--and no doubt hopes to re-start production soon after.

Battery shortages are just the latest in a long line of hold-ups, problems and disasters for Fisker Automotive.

Last month, several Karmas were destroyed in a New Jersey port in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Previously, the company has also faced problems with Karmas catching fire, a Consumer Reports test car breaking down, and poor EPA ratings--plus previous issues with A123 batteries themselves.

Fisker has considered using different batteries for the Karma, but Posawatz says it's certainly not a short-term solution, as batteries need to be thoroughly tested--a process which could take a year.

That's a year that Fisker can't really afford to waste--so a resolution to the A123 sale can't come too soon.

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Comments (3)
  1. This doesn't sound like too big of a problem, but it could get worse if the problem doesn't resolve it's self within the expected amount of time.
     
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    Bad stuff?

  2. No production for the last month, 338 Karmas lost due to superstorm Sandy, and Fisker said they had no issues meeting demand. So how low is the demand? Less than 2000 cars have been delivered world wide, according to Henrik yesterday.
     
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    Bad stuff?

  3. I think this is a serious problem. They have a great product, but, the failure of a key supplier, has to create real trouble. I guess A123 will survive if Johnson Controls buyts them. Fiskar may have to go through re-organization as well
    and that's unfortunate because a new investor may not be found.
     
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