Failed US electric/hybrid car-maker Fisker is now owned by China’s Wanxiang Group after a $149 million bid at Fisker’s bankruptcy auction. That’s six times more than Fisker was seeking to recover from bankruptcy, reports Bloomberg.
The Chinese conglomerate – which makes automobile parts, solar tech, and has a large US HQ in Chicago – now owns 18 Fisker patents covering things like electric-vehicle drivetrain technology and Fisker’s distinctive grille design. Other assets include an abandoned General Motors plant in Wilmington.
Wanxiang already owns EV battery-maker A123 Systems, which supplied power units to Fisker.
But it’s not clear if Wanxiang owns the Fisker brand and logo. According to Autoblog, that was licensed to Fisker by a different company called Fisker Coachbuild. However, Fisker Coachbuild struck a conciliatory tone during the long drawn out bankruptcy procedure, saying it’s open to licensing the brand to any new owner.
While Wanxiang now has nearly all the bits and pieces to revive Fisker, it still faces a mammoth task to rebuild the brand and refresh its dated car line-up – especially without experience in this area. The Fisker Karma (pictured above), which has a relatively small 2.0-litre petrol engine allied to its electric motor, hasn’t been updated since 2011 and was met with poor reviews after its launch.
Rival luxury EV brand Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) made all the right moves as Fisker stumbled from its 2007 inception. Now Tesla is ready to launch in China with an aggressive pricing plan and a network of chargers and looks set to challenge China’s love of big German cars from BMW, Audi, and Mercedes.
(Editing by Josh Horwitz)