Yet Another Chinese Suitor For Fisker: BAIC Kicks The Tires

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Fisker Atlantic concept unveiling before New York Auto Show, April 2012

Fisker Atlantic concept unveiling before New York Auto Show, April 2012

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We haven't heard much about Fisker Automotive in the last few months.

The company still hasn't declared bankruptcy, it hasn't yet been bought, and it is still apparently in default on its Department of Energy loans.

But now there's a new suitor who's at least kicking the tires.

According to China Daily, the Beijing Automotive group (BAIC) visited Fisker's headquarters in southern California last weekend.

Earlier Chinese suitors who've assessed Fisker--but not closed acquisition deals--include Volvo owner Geely Automotive, and the owner of A123 Systems, Wanxiang, which is China's largest auto-parts maker.

BAIC has little in-house experience with plug-in electric cars, and while electrics are still not selling to cost-conscious Chinese car buyers in any appreciable numbers yet, BAIC sees the writing on the wall.

A BAIC executive said recently that the company would introduce an electric car that would compete with the Tesla Model S in 2015.

That prospect seems like something of a stretch.

Even BYD, which has five years' experience building plug-in vehicles of various sorts, has not yet been able to build a vehicle that could be certified for sale in North America and meet U.S. customer expectations for quality, performance, and safety.

According to the report, BAIC is interested not in the Fisker Karma range-extended electric luxury sedan--of which 2,000 or more were built before production halted a year ago--but Fisker's next model, the smaller Atlantic sport sedan.

BAIC C60F Concept

BAIC C60F Concept

Enlarge Photo

The Fisker Atlantic debuted at the 2012 New York Auto Show, but its development almost surely remains to be completed after two years of cash crises, recalls, bad news, and dealer defections for Fisker.

Last fall, the Atlantic was delayed at least to late 2014--and little if anyprogress has likely been made since then.

We may hear more on this in due course.

Or we may not.

At some point Fisker will either get adopted or fade away altogether.

By then, will it matter either way?

Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.


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