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AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
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Fisker issues first company report on Karma’s launch

The review covers the electric vehicle's reception and sales figures.

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: May 31, 2012 01:45 PM

Anaheim-based Fisker Automotive has released its first business report detailing the company’s progress since the launch of its flagship vehicle, the 2012 Fisker Karma.

Last December, the company began deliveries of its first hybrid sedan model, which features the automaker’s trademarked Electric Vehicle with extended range (EVer) brand. As of April 30, the firm had completed 1,000 deliveries to customers across the U.S. and Europe. Within the first four months of the year, Fisker’s revenues have exceeded $100 million.

In the Netherlands, reported to be one of the most competitive international markets for premium car models, the 2012 Karma placed second in new car sales for the first four months of 2012 in the four-door luxury sedan segment. The Karma proved more popular than more established auto brands, including BMW, Mercedes and Audi, and ranked second in sales volume, only to the Porsche Panamera during the same period.

"We are encouraged by solid demand for the Karma, our unique extended-range luxury model,” said Fisker Automotive CEO Tom LaSorda. “Pending completion of investment sourcing, we are poised to press ahead with further market expansion and development of our higher-volume model, the Fisker Atlantic."

Demand for the Karma, the world’s first luxury electric hybrid vehicle, has taken off. Sales have been most successful in North America and Europe in the first quarter of 2012; the brand will soon penetrate the Middle Eastern market as well. In April, the automaker signed an agreement with the Al-Futtaim Group, a Middle Eastern automotive distributor, to build Fisker’s presence in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Egypt.

"There is great confidence from the investment community, our customers and the media in what we have achieved in bringing such a beautiful and innovative car to the marketplace in record time," said the company’s executive chairman, Henrik Fisker. "Treading a new path in any industry is never easy, but we have set out to redefine and reshape the way the world thinks about cars, and I am proud of what the Fisker team has achieved so far."

Fisker is also reported to be the first American auto manufacturer to introduce a new vehicle under the U.S. Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program. In addition to funding from the Department of Energy, the company continues to raise private funding to continue financing its ongoing projects, the 2013 Surf and the new Fisker Atlantic concept project, unveiled at the New York Auto Show in April.

The Karma’s launch has not been entirely smooth. Its lithium-ion battery, manufactured by A123 Systems, was recalled following the discovery of a defect in some models that caused the car to fail to start. All owners were provided with new batteries at no charge, and Fisker announced a full vehicle-warranty extension for affected vehicles to make up for the customer service muddle.


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