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Old 03-02-2010, 07:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fisker may seek final funding near year end

Originally Posted by Reuters
* Fisker says plug-in Karma sedan has full funding


* Fisker says late 2010 funding would be for 'Nina' car

* Automaker expects 'serious' production in 2011

GENEVA, March 2 (Reuters) - Electric car builder Fisker Automotive expects to be fully funded for its two car projects with one more round near the end of the year, the automaker's co-founder and chief executive said on Tuesday.

Henrik Fisker said the automaker's Karma plug-in hybrid sedan that goes into production late this year is fully funded and the final round of funding it would be seeking later this year would go to its "Nina" project mass market car.

Fisker made the remarks in an interview on the sidelines of the Geneva Motor Show, where the automaker was talking up its plans for an expanded European distribution base.

The Fisker Karma, a sports sedan that starts at $87,900, is expected to be in "serious" production in 2011, said Vic Doolan, a board member and director of retail development.

The Karma has a bank of 1,600 orders so far, but Fisker expects that to increase significantly when the car can be seen in dealer showrooms and taken for test drives.

Fisker said he expects the automaker to reach close to full annual volume of about 15,000 Karma sedans sometime during 2011 and expects to be in positive cash flow in 2011. The car will be built on contract at a plant in Finland.

The automaker currently is in discussions to complete the purchase of a shuttered General Motors factory in Delaware to produce the Project Nina vehicle, which is expected to start at $47,400 before any tax credits.

Eventually, the automaker would expect to build the next generation of Karma sedans at the Delaware factory starting in about 2016, Fisker said.

Fisker has been pledged access to U.S. Department of Energy loans to produce its vehicles. It plans to borrow up to $169 million to finish engineering on the Karma and another $359 million to build the second sedan. (Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Hans Peters)
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