Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fisker Says Atlantic Production to Begin In Late 2014 Or By 2015

Published October 16, 2012

By Pete Brissette


Better late than never. With his name on the car and company, Henrik Fisker stands by the Atlantic originally intended for 2013.

At an investor meeting held yesterday, Fisker announced during a slide presentation that pre-production of its forthcoming Atlantic plug-in series hybrid will begin sometime in late 2014 or 2015, with an MSRP of around $55,000.

According to a Reuters report, Fisker Chief Executive Tony Posawatz said during a conference call with investors that the mid-size sedan creates a business model that will allow Fisker to “generate cash in the future.”

"The Atlantic is really the volume car that begins to build growth," said Posawatz.

If the extended-range electric car comes forth as billed – svelte in style, with BMW-sourced engine and A123 batteries – it stands to potentially tempt some customers away from Chevrolet’s Volt, a car Posawatz is intimately acquainted with, having been the Volt line director before leaving GM this year.

The Atlantic's exact configuration and performance however are among things that remain to be seen, and indeed, scant few official photos are even available and these shown are of the pre-production car, which is otherwise said to be nearly complete.

Cost-cutting measures and seeking more capital

With 90 percent of the Atlantic’s parts already engineered, Posawatz’s statement that the company may "engage with some discussions with partners to use this platform, use this technology, which very few people have,” hints at Fisker’s need to reel in costs after two-thirds of a $529 million U.S. Energy Department loan was frozen in February of this year because of delays in production of the Fisker Karma.

According to Reuters, Posawatz also acknowledged Fisker is beginning the process to go public.

"We're looking at the next phase of our investment and progression as a company to restart the (Atlantic) program in earnest," Posawatz told investors. Since Fisker’s 2007 beginning the company has raised $1.2 billion in private capital.

In 2010 the company spent $20 million to purchase the former Boxwood plant from General Motors, located in Wilmington, Del., as the Atlantic’s production facility. However, progress with the plant was put on hold when DOE funding was halted.

According to Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher, the company has yet to confirm where the Atlantic will be produced. Previously, he has told us it is Fisker’s intent to build in Delaware at its wholly owned plant purchased at a fire sale price in the wake of GM’s 2009 bankruptcy.

And during the meeting, Fisker Chief Financial Officer Jim Yost reassured investors of the company’s original intentions for Atlantic production before the funding freeze, saying that the Atlantic “is the vehicle that we expect to be our mass-produced vehicle and as a result of that we wanted to make sure it was located in the United States."

The Delaware plant provides more capacity than Fisker needs, but Yost said the investment and preparation in the plant wasn’t in vain, and Fisker suppliers could potentially utilize the facility.

"We think that's an opportunity for some of our suppliers to come in, co-locate with us and really provide a manufacturing hub for the next generation of products that we produce, not just the Atlantic itself, but also future products."



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