2009 Fisker Karma prototypeEnlarge Photo
If all goes according to schedule, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Kevin Gross will rule today on whether the assets from bankrupt Fisker Automotive will be sold to Wanxiang, China's largest auto-parts maker.
That company submitted the winning bid of $149 million for the remains of Fisker in an auction that ended Friday evening, after 19 rounds of bidding over more than two days.
If Judge Gross rules today that the sale is final, the question becomes: What does Wanxiang intend to do next?
Wanxiang also owns A123 Systems, the lithium-ion cell maker it bought out of bankruptcy last fall. A123 supplied the batteries for the range-extended electric Fisker Karma luxury sedan.
2012 Fisker Karma with owner Meurice Lefevre, Alpharetta, GA, Oct 2013Enlarge Photo
The company declined to comment to Green Car Reports, in response to our questions on its plans if the bid were approved today.
"We will have to wait until the deal is officially closed before we can discuss any details," said Pin Ni, president of Wanxiang America.
But the executive was more forthcoming in an interview with The Boston Globe.
“We will want to get the Karma back online as quickly as possible,” he told the newspaper.
The sale will likely take 30 to 60 days to close officially, during which time Wanxiang will likely be preparing to restart Fisker's stalled production lines.
One early order of business will be working out where that production should take place.
While both Wanxiang and unsuccessful bidder Hybrid Tech Holdings have been quoted as saying they planned to produce cars in the U.S., Fisker Karmas were built in Finland by subcontractor Valmet.
If the new Chinese owner were to move that tooling from Finland to Fisker's empty Delaware plant, it would likely be a year or more before volume production could restart.
The Delaware plant is now entirely empty and hasn't built cars since it was closed by General Motors in 2009.
Fisker bought that plant in October 2009 but never occupied it.