As soon as the bankrupt Fisker Automotive started crawling back from the dead, rumors that the new owners would restart production of the Karma plug-in hybrid crawled as well. We've heard that the car would be built in the old General Motors plant the company owns in Delaware, that it would happen in Michigan or that Valmet would get going again in Finland. Nothing official has yet been announced, but Delaware Online is now saying that it's even money that Delaware to play a role in Fisker's physical rebirth.
Roger Brown is the interim president of Fisker Automotive and recently said that there is a "50-50" chance that the Newport, DE will be where the company rises again. "We inherited this situation, and because the facility is one of the assets we purchased, it has ... good bones, it has a paint shop, and you know, it definitely makes economic sense to consider that facility," he told Delaware Online.
"It definitely makes economic sense to consider [the Delaware] facility" – Roger Brown
Before Fisker's bankruptcy, Delaware offered over $20 million in incentives to get the automaker to build cars there. It never did, and a recent settlement agreement does not give the state much of a return on that money. The bankruptcy proceedings are not yet finished, but Brown made what has to be considered a bold statement. In deciding which locations makes sense to restart production, he said that, "if they provide incentives, obviously that would go into the equation; if they don't, obviously that would go into the equation also."
The closest that the new Fisker has come to saying where it will restart building cars is in documents that new owner Wanxiang filed with a federal court earlier this year. That three-part plan included restarting Karma production at Valmet, using partner VL Automotive's manufacturing facility in Michigan and then building the Atlantic somewhere. Brown gave a timeline to Delaware Online - new Karmas by August 2015, start building the Surf shooting brake by March 2016 and then add in the Atlantic by the end of 2017 - which would give Fisker time to tool up the Delaware plant for the Atlantic. Brown also said that building with VL Automotive has now been ruled out.