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Old 01-25-2012, 06:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Advice-take it for what it is worth.

I have been pondering my short experience with my Fisker for several weeks, and I have some advice for Fisker Corp that I thought I would post here. I am told that many company reps read this forum.

1. Know from the outset that I truly want Fisker to succeed. I love the looks of the car, and the promise it holds, but has yet to fulfill.

2. Hire a refined critic. By this I mean someone who has extensive experience with fine automobiles, that you give free license to criticize the car. It needs to be someone in whom you trust, someone with many years experience with Mercedes,, BMW, and perhaps Audi. I believe this would have prevented the release of a car with such an unbelievable number of bugs. Someone needed the power to say, "This is completely unacceptable in an automobile in this price range," or "The presets don't get lost every time I shut off my Audi," or "Gee, using this Comand center is worse than the touch screen in the GM SUV I had fifteen years ago."

3. Divorce Visteon. Enough said.

4. Fire the inspectors at Valmet that allow cars to ship with such poor body panel alignment.

5. Don't promise completion dates. Research and development takes time. I think we have all seen the result of placing deadlines ahead of getting it right. Release the product only when you have one. If you (or your refined critic in #2 above) wouldn't buy it, don't offer it for sale yet.

6. If your company is not ready to compete with the finer automobiles of the world, you need to build one that competes with the Chevys and Hyundais instead.

Good luck. I truly hope that Fisker Automotive makes it. What I have seen so far is not very encouraging.

Sincerely,

Karma1

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Old 01-25-2012, 07:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default RE: Advice-take it for what it is worth.

Well said. I also want Fisker to succeed, but I don't think the breaks it gets from many members here are in the end helpful. Beyond the enthusiasm of owning a beautiful car, there needs to be substance, and genuine build quality. I will wait at least 1-2 years before I reconsider Fisker. Of course, by that time the Audi ETron and BMW i8 may be on the market already. Somehow I have the feeling the panels will be aligned on each and every one of the first 100 cars coming from these brands....
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default RE: Advice-take it for what it is worth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by svp6
Well said. I also want Fisker to succeed, but I don't think the breaks it gets from many members here are in the end helpful. Beyond the enthusiasm of owning a beautiful car, there needs to be substance, and genuine build quality. I will wait at least 1-2 years before I reconsider Fisker. Of course, by that time the Audi ETron and BMW i8 may be on the market already. Somehow I have the feeling the panels will be aligned on each and every one of the first 100 cars coming from these brands....
That's 1-2 years that I will have enjoyed my Karma. Call me then and I'll tell yu what you've been missing.

Cheers,
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default RE: Advice-take it for what it is worth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by svp6
I will wait at least 1-2 years before I reconsider Fisker. Of course, by that time the Audi ETron and BMW i8 may be on the market already. Somehow I have the feeling the panels will be aligned on each and every one of the first 100 cars coming from these brands....
That's a perfectly valid point of view and not everyone has the constitution to live with first generation new technology. In this world, there is always something on the horizon that is going to be better, fancier, and more perfect, until it actually gets here. I am not entirely certain that BMW or Audi are actually serious about their EV line beyond showing them as concepts because they have a vested interest in, and derive great profits from, their traditional cars with big, powerful gas/Diesel engines. That's why they are all dragging their feet in developing and releasing these cars beyond car shows and very limited consumer test releases. Fisker made no secret of its plans to make the Karma starting in 2008. If Audi/Benz/BMW/VW believed that it was in their best interest to enter this market, they could have beaten Fisker to the punch by 2-3 years, but they did not even start talking about EV cars until recently.

As I see it, the only company making a Serial Hybrid car is Fisker and in two or three years time when the other companies start actually releasing their cars for sale, Fisker is going to be on the third generation of their drive train. They are also the only company that makes nothing but Serial Hybrid cars so they don't have worry about cannibalizing their more profitable product lines by introducing EVs that have the styling and performance to compete with their traditional products.

I understand and respect @Karma1 and @SVp6 's decisions to sit out the early rounds of Fisker, but I don't agree with them. I am still going to pick up my car as soon as it is ready and I am sure I will be annoyed by the various glitches until they get resolved. But I do want to be part of the leading edge of this technology and would be hard-pressed to seriously consider a token product from those companies whose hearts are not really in this enterprise and are only trying to greenwash their operations or offset the emissions of the cars they really want to sell through their EV offerings.

-- Fab.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default RE: Advice-take it for what it is worth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by svp6
Well said. I also want Fisker to succeed, but I don't think the breaks it gets from many members here are in the end helpful. Beyond the enthusiasm of owning a beautiful car, there needs to be substance, and genuine build quality. I will wait at least 1-2 years before I reconsider Fisker. Of course, by that time the Audi ETron and BMW i8 may be on the market already. Somehow I have the feeling the panels will be aligned on each and every one of the first 100 cars coming from these brands....
So where are the Audi eTron and BMW i8? Why haven't those established luxury brands delivered a BEV/PHEV to the market? Are we supposed to wait another 2-3 years for them to get their act together?

I'm delighted to be driving Fisker 1.0. Tesla Roadster owners are delighted to be driving Tesla 1.0, and the Model S deposit holders can't wait to get their hands on Tesla 2.0. 1.0 releases are embraced by early adopters who overlook their shortcomings to experience the new new thing.

If the issues were with the hybrid drivetrain, then Fisker would have some serious problems. I'm not making excuses for the electronics issues, but they will be solved in fairly short order. With some experienced auto execs onboard, Fisker is now holding deliveries until fixes are delivered for known problems, and has improved its communications with customers.

I can't tell you how many compliments I have had on the car. People rave over the design, the paint and the interior. I'll put up with a few panel fit and electronics issues to own a car that generates that kind of reaction. Again, not to make excuses, but this is the 1.0 product from a startup, delivering a beautiful PHEV luxury sedan that you can't buy from BMW or Audi.





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Old 01-25-2012, 08:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default RE: Advice-take it for what it is worth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by karma1
3. Divorce Visteon. Enough said.

4. Fire the inspectors at Valmet that allow cars to ship with such poor body panel alignment.
A agree with it all, but especially #3 and #4.

-Brian
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default RE: Advice-take it for what it is worth.

Again, no offence to anyone who took delivery - I am actually pleased because it gives Fisker the chance to improve their vehicle.

@Sigurd. I'll be driving my BMW 650 for the next 1-2 years. Looks are nice (probably not as good as Karma, but not too bad). It also drives like a sports car, I clocked the 0-60 somewhere on 4.5 sec. In fact, the lack of performance in Karma was one of the deal-breakers for me.

@Fab. I admire your resolve to stick with Fisker. I think in the end the bugs will be worked out. For me, it is not acceptable to pay 110k for a car and keep driving to a dealer for hiccups - especially since it's a 70 miles drive. I hope the car will work as it should, and you enjoy it, you certainly deserve it given how much passion you have invested in this car.

@Dennis. No reason to be upset. I8 is in prototype form already (google spyshots, plenty of them already), and Audi Etron getting there too. Probably late 2013 / erly 2014. Also remember that it is not about who gets to the table first (Tesla / Fisker), but rather who is successful in delivering quality for the money. The 1 cm trunk misalignment reported on this forum is not acceptable in this calss of vehicles. All exotics have issues (and Fisker is certainly an exotic), but initial quality of the delivered product is usually flawless. I read a lot on Aston Martin / Maserati / Ferrari forums to realize that all of them will have glitches, including weird sounds, engine failures and such. However, I never heard somebody complaining that their Aston was delivered with a crooked hood.... Then it is the question of the drive. I think Brian described it best - great cornering, not much oomph otherwise. The comparison with Bugatti Veyron is hillarious and keeps beeing reported - of course, no one mentions how much torque the Bugatti has in first gear..... Again, happy the car works for you, and certainly will draw lots of compliments. However, compliments do not make up for build quality, not for me, and I suspect not for the majority of exotic car buyers.....
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default RE: Advice-take it for what it is worth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian
Quote:
Originally Posted by karma1
3. Divorce Visteon. Enough said.

4. Fire the inspectors at Valmet that allow cars to ship with such poor body panel alignment.
A agree with it all, but especially #3 and #4.

-Brian
I think #2 would likely have brought about #3 and #4. The danger of surrounding yourself with yes men can never be overstated.

And for the record, I am an early adopter. However, I had my Karma in my garage for only 5 days out of 29. I didn't have a few minor problems. I had a test mule that was very rough in its execution and requires lots of polishing. Maybe in a few years I will try again.

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Old 01-25-2012, 08:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default RE: Advice-take it for what it is worth.

I can sympathize, as this was really an irrational/emotional purchase for me - I didn't even need a car, given my lifestyle. Ultimately, I decided to go ahead in part because its a gorgeous car (albeit with its own freckles here and there), but also because it was a symbol that represents the future I want to live in - a less oil dependent, more fuel efficient way of life. I wish Henrik and the rest of the management team paid closer to attention to the 2500 or so of us that are the lifeline to the company's ultimate success, but I'll say I've been fairly impressed with some of the folks surrounding Fisker. It's a California startup that, like Tesla, is meant to breathe new life into an alternative energy future. (In many ways, its the idea or concept I'm in love with, rather than the reality... sound like a recent presidential campaign? but I digress...)

That said, I expect much from Fisker going forward. I expect them to listen to us, now not just deposit holders but Karma OWNERS. These are critical months and I expect no less than their complete focus on doing right by us, the painfully loyal, tolerant and patient few that have stuck with them amidst a very trying birthing period.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default RE: Advice-take it for what it is worth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by karma1
Quote:
Originally Posted by brian
Quote:
Originally Posted by karma1
3. Divorce Visteon. Enough said.

4. Fire the inspectors at Valmet that allow cars to ship with such poor body panel alignment.
A agree with it all, but especially #3 and #4.

-Brian
I think #2 would likely have brought about #3 and #4. The danger of surrounding yourself with yes men can never be overstated.

And for the record, I am an early adopter. However, I had my Karma in my garage for only 5 days out of 29. I didn't have a few minor problems. I had a test mule that was very rough in its execution and requires lots of polishing. Maybe in a few years I will try again.

Were you able to simply return your Karma or did you have to resort to Lemon Laws?
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