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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This from www.plugincars.com:

Fisker Karma Production Set for March, But Customers Not Informed
by Brad Berman · January 18, 2011

The first deliveries of the Fisker Karma luxury plug-in were originally scheduled for 2009, and then 2010, and have now slipped to early 2011. Russell Datz, a spokesman for Fisker Automotive, confirmed in an email to PluginCars.com that “regular production will start in March with deliveries expected to begin soon after.” He added that “pinning down a specific date” for delivery would “be difficult.”


You'd think that Fisker might have given its registered customers a heads-up on this before going to the media. Oh, well.
 

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It has been known for a year now that production wouldn't start until February/March 2010, and it now looks as if production will actually start then. The delay until February/March has been mentioned in a lot of media reports since then. So Plugincars.com is bringing us some very old 'news'.

But it would have been nicer if Fisker had communicated this date more clearly in the 2010-newsletters to its customers. My importer/dealer in The Netherland has been clearer and more forthcoming in this respect.

For me the exciting prospect of production finally starting 1-2 months from now is gaining the upper hand.
 

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The thing I'm actually more interested in is knowing when the dealers are going to get their demos, and when the press will get to review them. All of that will affect weather I actually order the car or ask for a refund on my $5k, and so far it doesn't seem there's any new word on when anyone is going to get to actually drive one.

-Brian
 

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For what it's worth (almost nothing :p), the local Fisker dealer at the Utah Auto Show had a big poster up saying that the Karma was to arrive in "April". I asked someone there if they actually had a firm date and she was not really sure.
 

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Along these same lines, when in the world is Fisker going to let us know what the car sounds like? They need to update their web site and fill in some blanks.

-Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Brian: My guess is that Karmas will be in such short supply that demos will be hard to find in the early months, once production actually starts in earnest.

We may have to trust the reviews of the automotive writers, once they get to test drive the car (still waiting ...) or postpone taking delivery until there are demo models to test drive.

On another tack: Just took a look at Tesla S sedan. Impressive as a alpha prototype, and if Fisker doesn't get cars on the road soon, I think it might bleed some support from Fisker (yes, I know they're different technologies, but a 300 mile-range EV gets my attention). I've waited 2.5 years for the Karma, maybe another 18 months for the S is something to think about.
 

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Actually, what I was told was that dealers would be getting their cars first before anyone else. Theoretically as soon as February. I'm guessing that some of those 200 "test" cars that they built at the end of 2010 will be sent to dealers as demos.

-Brian
 

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Soflauthor said:
Brian: My guess is that Karmas will be in such short supply that demos will be hard to find in the early months, once production actually starts in earnest.

We may have to trust the reviews of the automotive writers, once they get to test drive the car (still waiting ...) or postpone taking delivery until there are demo models to test drive.
Production will ramp up quickly to more than a thousand cars per month! (They will be producing in 1,5 months time what Tesla has produced up till now: 1500 cars). Valmet has a lot of experience and very well trained employees, so this should not be a problem. So it is unlikely that cars will be in short supply for test drives.

What I do think is that Fisker would have wanted some more time. It takes established car companies three years to develop a car, and they usually start with an older model and existing technology. Fisker had to build a company and a car from scratch, using new technology, and still managed to do it in three years. But it has been a stretch, that is clear. The testing program with the pre-production cars produced at the end of last year is very close to the start of full-scale production, too close if you ask me. But I heard no major problems turned up, and that the few small problems that did were ironed out.

Another sign that it has been a stretch, is the fact that dealers and press will be getting their cars almost at the same time as the first customers. Other car companies first serve dealers and press, and a few months later start actual deliveries. Fisker doesn't have the time for this, because there is so much pressure (also from us) to deliver. They simply cannot afford to annouce another major delay. So they won't. But as a consequence everyone - dealers, press, customers - gets served at the same time.

On another tack: Just took a look at Tesla S sedan. Impressive as a alpha prototype, and if Fisker doesn't get cars on the road soon, I think it might bleed some support from Fisker (yes, I know they're different technologies, but a 300 mile-range EV gets my attention). I've waited 2.5 years for the Karma, maybe another 18 months for the S is something to think about.
The Tesla S is an impressive car, at least in pictures. But the video of the alpha protoype on a rural road I saw a few days ago was less impressive. In my opinion it looks too much like a Japanese luxury car - Lexus, Infiniti - and doesn't distinguish itself as the revolutionary car it is. On the other hand, not everyone wants to stick out like you will in a Karma.

The Tesla S also has a big price advantage over the Karma. The problem however with waiting for the Tesla S (or Fisker Nina) is that there can also be delays. Tesla is not immune to this, as we saw with the Roadster. And there are already a few thousand reservations, so even if production starts on time, it will take longer before you actually get your car. You might look at another 2,5 years of waiting.
 

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Dutch said:
The Tesla S also has a big price advantage over the Karma. The problem however with waiting for the Tesla S (or Fisker Nina) is that there can also be delays there. Tesla is not immune to this, as we saw with the Roadster. And there are already a few thousand reservations, so even if production starts on time, it will take longer before you actually get your car. You might look at another 2,5 years of waiting.
I have a lot of issues with the Tesla Model S:

1. Tesla has very few dealerships, and zero here in Texas, so good luck getting it serviced.

2. To me it looks like a nice Ford Taurus with a touch of Infinity... Visually boring. Nice, but uninspiring.

3. I don't like Tesla's business model, and I seriously doubt they will survive because of it. I think Fisker has a better chance of still being around when it comes time to replace the battery.

4. Tesla's have all the expensive circuitry in the charging umbilical whereas Fisker puts the expensive parts in the car. If I'm charging a Tesla at a public or unsecure charging station someone could very easily just steal the $1200 cord. The Fisker is basically just a cheap $40 cord from Home Depot so nobody is going to swipe it.

5. Even at 300 miles, that's lousy round-trip range here in Texas where everything is pretty far. And if you drive the car like a normal person you'll get far less mileage not to mention the battery degrades quite a bit every year. I prefer a hybrid electric over pure electric.

-Brian
 

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I agree with you that hybrid electric beats pure electric. With the Tesla S, even if you choose the bigger battery, there will always be range anxiety, or at least a chance of getting stranded with an empty battery. You will need a second car for longer trips, or be prepared to make long recharging stops. The Karma will never have this problem. And you will still be able to drive pure electric 70-90% of the time, depending on your personal situation.

And I think the Karma is a more beautiful and unique car on the road. Fisker is the first car company with a designer as CEO (instead of a bean counter), and it shows.

The Karma is not cheap. But for those who cannot afford it: wait for the cheaper 'Nina' which, if we have to believe the rumors, will be at least as stunning.

But I do wish Tesla good luck, because they have the same goal as Fisker: to rid the world of its oil addiction (actually, this week I ordered 11.500 Wp of solar panels to be put on the roof of the company I run with my brothers. I will be using the sun to charge my Karma!) :cool:
 

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Here's the word I just got from my dealer:

"It is my understanding that we will probably see them in March. We are expecting a lot more info in February. Our dealer principal and COO are going to Irvine Feb 21 to drive production cars."


-Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Brian/Dutch: You both made some excellent points re: Fisker vs. Tesla S. I think the two keys are (1) it's reasonably likely that the S will be delayed to 2013 and (2) the pure EV architecture does have limitations. I also agree with Dutch that "the Karma is a more beautiful and unique car."

I guess I won't cancel my order :)

Best,
Roger
 

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Just received an e-mail (newsletter) from the importer/dealer in The Netherlands:

- Second half of February: international presentation for dealers in California. Dealers will get to drive Karma's.
- Geneva Auto Show (3-13 March): official start of sales.
- End of March/early April: arrival of demo cars at dealers.
- Just before Amsterdam Auto Show (12-23 April): delivery of cars to first customers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dutch said:
Just received an e-mail (newsletter) from the importer/dealer in The Netherlands:

- Second half of February: international presentation for dealers in California. Dealers will get to drive Karma's.
- Geneva Auto Show (3-13 March): official start of sales.
- End of March/early April: arrival of demo cars at dealers.
- Just before Amsterdam Auto Show (12-23 April): delivery of cars to first customers.
Cool! I hope the same dates hold in the USA.
 

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I want to know why this information is not being passed on to us by our US dealers. I am beginning to suspect that my PA dealer is not of the caliber that they proported to be when Fisker chose them.
 

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Most dealers are kept as much in the dark as we are. They are not getting the information they need to keep their customers informed.
 
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