Do you believe in second chances? Chinese automotive group Wanxiang certainly does.
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Fisker’s newest project, the BMW 3 series rival named the Nina, has been placed on the backburner once again while the company tries to work out its financial woes.
Yesterday Fisker announced a shuffle of CEO’s, from Henrik Fisker to automotive industry veteran Tom Lasorda. The new direction is influenced by the mounting pressure placed on the company after it did not meet previously agreed upon loan conditions that were worked out with the US department of energy. Obviously Fisker is scrambling for any new direction that seems likely to turn the company around.
Project Nina is Fisker’s new hope, the car that the company needs to stay afloat and start making money again. The Fisker Surf, which is set to debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, is also a beacon of hope for Fisker, although it seems less than likely that the station wagon will sell any better than the Karma that it shares its looks and platform with.
After layoffs and recalls, the folks at Fisker are having a rough go trying to get back on their feet. Henrik Fisker himself has said that he will fund the Nina project through private sources, but after all the bad news coming out of the Fisker camp lately, it seems highly unlikely that anyone would be willing to lend Henrik a few $100 million.
Fisker Automotive announced today that former Chrysler head Tom LaSorda will replace the company’s namesake, Henrik Fisker, as the new CEO.
Fisker first called LaSorda to join the team as an observer and to assess the company as a whole. After two months of evaluation,He asked LaSorda to become CEO. Fisker meanwhile announced his intent to “build the brand globally” and make it his personal task to push sales in foreign countries. In lieu of his previous position, Fisker named himself the company’s executive chairman.
LaSorda seems like a safe choice to further the brand: As a 32-year veteran of the automotive industry, he knows a thing or two about running car companies. “I am delighted to be assuming such a central role at this exciting time in Fisker Automotive’s history,” LaSorda said.
With financial troubles recently plaguing the company, Fisker might need a boost to keep afloat. The company also announced this morning that the Fisker Surf, which is a hatchback Karma, will debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, and be ready for delivery by early 2013 at the latest.
While the company’s future is unclear, it seems that the California start up is doing everything in its power to keep from failing.
The Fisker Surf premiered at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show as a production ready concept, and will arrive at dealers as early as late 2012. The production-ready Surf will debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show.
The Fisker Surf will be based on the same production line as the Karma, and will use the same power train, but with more rear end cargo room thanks to its station wagon styling. A 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine will act as a generator to the electric power train and will get the Surf 300 miles travel distance on one tank of fuel. The wagon will be Fisker’s solution to the buyer who wants the electric vehicle experience, but have kids and a dog in tow.
Hatchback sports cars are traditionally treacherous territory but it seems Ferrari blazed that trail with their well-received FF. Now it looks like Fisker will try to carve it’s own niche in the high-end hatch market.
The Fisker Surf should be available by late 2012 or early 2013.
After years of hype (and delays), Fisker finally delivered its first shipment of production models to customers this Summer. The next obvious step would be a concept, followed by several more years of teasers and production hickups. Not so, says CEO Henrik Fisker, unveiling the new Surf model at the Frankfurt Auto Show today.
A five-door shooting brake design, the Surf is intended to bring the Karma’s plug-in hybrid drivetrain to a more functional (yet still very luxurious) segment. Built alongside the Karma on the production line the Surf uses the same platform and engine as its sedan counterpart and will go on sale mid 2012 said Fisker during the press conference.
So if you’re in the market for a 402-hp hybrid that can travel emissions free for up to 50 miles, plus you’ve got kids and a dog, Fisker has your wagon.
GALLERY: Fisker Surf
Fisker isn’t revealing much about its upcoming Surf concept car reveal at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but it has given us this to work with. An outline teaser of the Fisker Surf concept shows off its clearly sleek styling with a shooting brake body style, and will be an electric vehicle with extended range capability. The Surf will likely borrow much from its Karma stablemate, which is a four-door sports sedan with 408-hp, a stunning 981 lb-ft of torque and 50-miles of all electric driving.
“The Fisker Surf delivers a bold new twist and is sure to ‘wow’ global audiences with its combination of Uncompromised Responsible Luxury and head turning design,” the company said in a short statement.