Fisker To Be Renamed Elux, New Karma Not On Sale Before Next Year

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2012 Fisker Karma during road test, Los Angeles, Feb 2012

2012 Fisker Karma during road test, Los Angeles, Feb 2012

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Chinese maker Wanxiang, which bought the defunct Fisker Automotive out of bankruptcy, will rename the carmaker Elux, according to a Reuters report this morning.

The company has also pushed back the planned relaunch of the Karma range-extended electric sport sedan until at least the middle of next year, it says.

DON'T MISS: Fisker Karma Will Be Relaunched With 2012 Design, Updates (Sep 2014)

The Reuters report was attributed to unnamed source inside the company who were not authorized to speak on its behalf.

But the story suggested that Wanxiang is sinking "millions" into updating the Karma, which finally struggled into production as a 2012 model before production halted in the middle of that year.

2012 Fisker Karma outside Tesla Motors dealership during test drive, Los Angeles, Feb 2012

2012 Fisker Karma outside Tesla Motors dealership during test drive, Los Angeles, Feb 2012

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The Karma was first unveiled in January 2008 at the Detroit Auto Show, making the fundamental design more than seven years old--well past the usual time for what the industry calls a "mid-cycle update."

Total production of the 2012 Fisker Karma was likely around 2,500 to 3,000 cars.

ALSO SEE: Fisker Karma Finnish Production To Resume Following Fixes, New Model Later (Aug 2014)

Wanxiang founder and chairman Lu Guanqiu and Wanxiang America president Pin Ni said last August that the company had "about 250 bugs" to fix on the Karma before it could put the sleek electric sport sedan back into production.

Teething problems with Karmas as production ramped up had included cooling-fan fires, instrument panels that went dead, and a host of other electronic and vehicle integration issues.

2012 Fisker Karma + Aero L-39 Albatros jet trainer, Hollister Municipal Airport, CA [by Refael Azi]

2012 Fisker Karma + Aero L-39 Albatros jet trainer, Hollister Municipal Airport, CA [by Refael Azi]

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The seemingly ill-fated Karma also suffered from faulty lithium-ion cells produced at a new Michigan fabrication plant by A123 Systems.

Battery maker A123, like Fisker a venture-funded startup, subsequently entered bankruptcy and was purchased by Wanxiang as well, long before the Chinese company bought the remnants of the carmaker itself.

MORE: Who's Still Buying Brand-New Fisker Karmas, And Why? (Oct 2013)

When it finally enters the market, possibly as a 2017 model, the new Elux Karma will not be assembled by Finnish contractor Valmet, according to Reuters.

Valmet built all extant Karmas, but the Wanxiang-owned Fisker still owns a vacant former GM assembly plant in Delaware.

The company had hoped to use that site to build its second product, the less-expensive but stillborn Fisker Atlantic unveiled at the 2012 New York Auto Show.

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