If anybody can save Fisker, it might just be automotive superstar Bob Lutz – with help from a deep-pocketed Chinese firm. Reuters has reported that VL Automotive, a boutique automaker led by the plain-speaking former GM executive, together with the Wanxiang Group, China’s largest auto parts supplier, submitted an offer to buy the troubled automaker through a prepackaged bankruptcy deal.
Lutz praised Fisker’s Karma PHEV on Forbes.com a few weeks ago: “The big Karma, designed by Henrik Fisker, is quite possibly the most beautiful four-door sedan ever. The technology, similar to that of the Chevrolet Volt, was ground-breaking and soon to be adopted by many of the leading manufacturers as they seek to meet stringent CO2 and fuel economy rules.”
Donn Vickrey, an analyst with research firm Gradient Analytics, told Reuters that any deal to revive Fisker will face an uphill battle, noting that in some cases, prices for Fisker’s Karma plug-in sedan have fallen by half. “They’re literally selling at something at 50 cents per dollar right now,” Vickrey said. “That’s a lot of confidence lost. I’m not sure how you get that back.”
Meanwhile, a group of investors that includes Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li is working on a separate deal to buy $171 million in debt that Fisker still owes to the DOE, according to Reuters’ sources. This might smooth the way for any future takeover of Fisker, as the terms of the DOE loan have proven a sticking point for a couple of previous suitors.
Source: Reuters, Forbes, Automotive News