Karma gets approval to build electric cars in China

The original production run of the Fisker Karma luxury sedan was contracted to Valmet Automotive in Finland.

But as the Karma Revero, the car will be built at a new facility in California.

Karma, which was created when Chinese auto-parts giant Wanxiang purchased the remains of bankrupt Fisker Automotive, plans to handle production itself.

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It may even expand production to its parent company’s home country, according to one report.

Wanxiang recently received approval from regulators to build a Chinese factory with capacity for 50,000 electric cars per year, according to Reuters.

The supplier was one of six companies that recently received approval from the National Development and Reform Commission—China’s main economic and industrial planner—to produce electric cars.

Karma Revero assembly at Karma Automotive factory, Moreno Valley, California, July 2016

Karma Revero assembly at Karma Automotive factory, Moreno Valley, California, July 2016

Enlarge Photo

Wanxiang’s lobbying for a factory permit paves the way for its possession Karma to expand electric-car production to China.

The Reuters report did not say where the factory would be located, but Wanxiang applied earlier this year to build a plant in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, where it is headquartered.

That application quoted a price tag of 2.5 billion yuan ($375 million) for the factory, and said the facility would build two models.

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One of those cars would be the Karma Revero, while the second would be a version of the stillborn Fisker Atlantic sedan, the application said.

First shown in 2012, the Atlantic features similar styling and a similar extended-range electric powertrain to the Karma/Revero, but with more compact proportions.

Fisker was not able to put the Atlantic into production before its bankruptcy, but had planned on building it at a former General Motors plant in Delaware.

Fisker Atlantic Design Prototype - 2012 New York Auto Show

Fisker Atlantic Design Prototype – 2012 New York Auto Show

Enlarge Photo

It is unclear whether the Atlantic would be built exclusively in China, or whether Karma will also built the smaller sedan at its new factory in Moreno Valley, California.

The new Chinese plant may only build cars for the local market, as a way to avoid high shipping costs and import duties.

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In the U.S., Karma began taking reservations for the Revero September 8, with priority going to the 1,000 or so current Fisker Karma owners.

With a base price of $130,000, the Revero will be a low-volume luxury car, but a theoretical production version of the Atlantic could slot below it at a lower price point.

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