2009 Fisker Karma prototype
Fisker Automotive is slowly returning.
A new website isn't the be-all and end-all of a company back on the right track, but the new site is the first sign of stirring life within the company under its new owner, Wanxiang America, the U.S. arm of China's largest auto-parts firm.
It's also slick, hopeful, and remarkably candid about the company's rocky history.
What's clear is that the Karma will apparently be returning virtually untouched, with the same dramatic styling as before. And the same logo, contrary to expectations.
Hopefully though, Wanxiang will see fit to fix the quality issues that originally saw early Karmas dinged by virtually every reviewer.
A production location still hasn't been revealed, though in the "frequently asked questions" section of the site, the "new" Fisker confirms it's working with previous builders Valmet in Finland on re-starting production.
No timeframe is revealed, only that Fisker will begin building cars "as fast as possible". The company says it's assessing the viability of producing vehicles at the Delaware plant bought before Fisker folded. In theory, new cars should start arriving within a year.
Wanxiang also addresses the warranty situation for existing Karma owners. Under the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Wanxiang assumed an agreement--dictated by another buyer--that only covers warranty costs up to $2,000.
It notes that this will be far short of existing owners' expectations--and likely to cover very little of the cost if something goes wrong in a premium vehicle like the Karma. But Wanxiang says it's already working on a way to provide a "better experience" for all current Fisker owners.
Future plans include production of the so-far-stillborn Atlantic project, a smaller fastback Fisker that was to use a next-generation version of the Karma's drivetrain.
But most fascinating of all is the website's history section.
Fisker's troubled past is hard to hide, so Wanxiang hasn't bothered. Click on the tab, and you're taken to a full timeline of the company's past, warts and all.
It's refreshingly candid, covering everything from Tesla's lawsuit against Fisker, through the U.S. government freezing Fisker's credit in May 2011, Henrik Fisker's resignation in March 2013, and the company's layoffs the following month.
It seems to be a sign that new owner Wanxiang knows all is not rosy in the automotive world, but wants to grab a second chance while it can.
Like a new website, hope and faith are no guarantee of success. But in taking an honest look at its past, Fisker is in a much better position to embark on its future.
[Hat tip: Pavel in Santa Monica]