Fisker Automotive Holdings is no longer. So hello Wanxiang, but exactly what will you do with it all?
After a long drawn out and often bloody battle to see who would buy the rest of the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) car company, Wanxiang now holds the name and patents to Fisker Automotive Holdings. Henryk Fisker, through his Fisker Automotive company, designed the beautiful Karma PHEV car that turned heads on the street. Unfortunately, a few went up in smoke, and a big chunk of the cars made were totaled in an east coast storm.
The Fisker Karma was a sexy car.
The Fisker Karma was a beautiful car and our initial test drive confirmed it. The interior was lush, and had this feeling of being inside a cocoon. In many ways, the car felt like a quiet Maserati, or Aston Martin, but with that unbeatable science fiction sound it made at low speed. Yes, it never had that sports car feel and handling its design suggested, but it was a very comfortable cruiser. At the touch of a button, the GM 2.0L Ecotec would push out an extra 260 HP and 260 lb-ft of torque on top of the 403 HP and 959 lb-ft. of torque from the electric drivetrain. This was the car you would go in to protect you from the harsh reality of traffic congestion, angry drivers and noise.
According to Bloomberg, the Wanxiang Group won the auction for Fisker Automotive Holdings Inc. with a $149.2 million bid. This was almost six times the $25 million Fisker was seeking when it filed for bankruptcy in November 2013. The auction lasted three days and went through 19 bidding rounds. The final offer sees Wangxian disburse $126.2 million in cash and $8 million in assumed liabilities.
Henryk Fisker sighs relief…
We can only assume Henryk Fisker must feel relieved. The company found itself deep in muddy waters as its debt grew to $1 billion last year filing for a Chapter 11 petition. Although the company sought creditor protection after defaulting on the U.S. government loan, it only received $192 million of the initial $529 million.
What happens next?
It’s not certain what Wangxian intends to do next, but we can guess it will use 18 patents covering grille designs, fender vents and overall electric-vehicle drivetrain technology to gain a stronger foothold in the world’s biggest automobile market, China. A new car is bought every two seconds in China, helping push the country dangerously close to high levels of pollutions it will soon not be able to handle. Wangxian could use this technology to produce hybrids (HEV), PHEV and pure electric vehicles (EV) or plug-in vehicles. The rest of the 18 patents are pending, including in aluminium subframing, and solar-car technologies.
While it’s sad to see Fisker go away, we are happy to turn this chapter and look forward to the contributions Wangxian can make to the plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle technology.