These may be the first customer-bound Karmas to roll off the line, but they’re not the first Fiskers to be built at Valmet’s production facility in Uusikaupunki, Finland. A line-built prototype was exhibited at the Paris Motor Show last fall, but full production of saleable units didn’t begin until today. The plant, which also makes vehicles under contract for Porsche, plans on slowly ramping up volume in the coming weeks to insure a high level of build quality.
Since production has kicked off, the first Karmas are expected to arrive at Fisker’s European and North American dealer networks in late April. In the U.S., Fisker has 42 dealerships secured, many of which are located in fairly affluent areas — unsurprising, considering the Karma’s base price is just shy of six figures.
While the commencement of Karma production may be a significant milestone of the California-based automaker, it’s but the tip of the company’s iceberg. The company is still working to bring a smaller, lower-cost model — code-named Project Nina — to market within the next year. Fisker not only took hold of General Motors’ former plant in Wilmington, Delaware, but also recently raised $150 million to help finance the new model. Additional funding may be raised through an initial public stock offering, which is expected to launch by the year’s end.
For now, Fisker will be happy if it meets its initial sales goal, which is to sell 7000 Karmas by the end of 2011. Seeing as the company has some 3000 deposits — each costing $5000 — in hand, the company appears to be well on its way towards achieving that goal. The Karma’s $88,000 base price may be a decent price for a tech-laden, fuel-sipping, stylish luxury sedan, but do you think Fisker’s electric wunderkind will have any issues prying buyers from traditional offerings from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi? Send your predictions by means of the comments section below.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)