If you were building the hottest looking plug in hybrid in the world, and it was priced just shy of $90,000, where would you market it first? Turns out the answer is China. And US buyers, standing in line with some 3,000 orders, aren't happy.
The reasons for the move are sensible, if not insulting to Detroit and US customers who have been lining up to get thier hands on the real thing. One look at the hot Karma model and you can sure see why everyone wants it. It's a four door sedan with lines that remind you of the best that Bentley or Jaguar makes if a fine luxury car. It easily beats the Chevy Volt in every department but price, but for the looks of it, price doesn't matter so much.
The Karma will get 300 miles with its high performance styling, 50 on just its electric battery pack alone before the conventional powertrain kicks in for another 250 miles of driving.
So why are they heading to China first?
First, the luxury car market is booming in China, where the economy is hungry for motor vehicles and the luxury segment is even hungrier.
Then there's Fisker's new partner, the China Grand Automotive Group. They just happen to be the number one passenger car company in China, with a dealer network over 200 strong and experience marketing luxury cars in China like Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, and Lamborghini, selling more than $7 billion worth. They know what they are doing.
Then, to top it off, there's the Chinese government, which is pushing hard for the home market to adopt clean electric propulsion to clean up its dirty carbon footprint, widely discussed by visiting media at the Chinese Olympics. And Fisker is there to help, first with its sexy luxury Karma sedan. Next they plan to launch a family sedan.
So, US would-be buyers will have to settle for watching Fisker's hot luxury car on television when the cars hit the roads of China in April 2011. And when will they get their hands on one here in the US? No one is talking, but you can bet it won't be soon.
Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers protect themselves since 1978.