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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have ideas on the lifespan of a Karma? I've been very much impressed with the reliability of the Karma. I expected many problems and have not had any.

Since it's an electric motor, I would expect a much longer life than a regular car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I should note, one of the reasons I'm asking is because I'm starting to think they're might be good value in buying up pre-owned Karmas.
 

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Maybe you missed the horrid press/internet sentiment last year that brought sales to a halt at many dealers. Find the Brian Greenstone review on youtube and try convincing some of the Tesla fanboys to buy a Karma instead.

No doubt there will be a cathartic moment where everyone suddenly realizes what an awesome car they missed out on but you might have to wait awhile?

Just goes to show the press in this country is completely useless for anything but creating sensational fear or greed.
 

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I should note, one of the reasons I'm asking is because I'm starting to think they're might be good value in buying up pre-owned Karmas.
If, god forbid, Fisker were to go belly-up - I'd be preying on those scrambling for the exit door - looking to buy a "parts car". In 10-20 years it will be an outstanding collectible. The Karma might be the modern day Miura...low, wide, stretched, eye-popping styling, made in small numbers, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamborghini_Miura
 

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Yep, those of us who drive a Karma, don't want to give it up. I'd be bidding against you for one of those parts cars. But so far, I'm not certain I'll have to. I hope Fisker can pull through. We all knew buying a new model of a new company would have lots of quirks, twists and turns, or at least we should have. What I didn't expect is how much I'd really like the Karma, since I've owned it, driving other cars has been a disappointment.
 

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Hopefully some time this month the new partnership will be announced the sooner the better I'm betting on Geely
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, but I'm always thinking the Karma is an excellent. While a typical car, one might buy for 5 years and about 100K miles, I have a feeling the Karma could comfortably double that, meaning in essence the car is worth much more.

Based upon what I know I think it could get up to 200K without too much trouble. First most luxury cars can't do that and get very expensive. The expense comes mostly in the transmission, and engine, both of which the Karma lacks (in the traditional sense anyway).

This would mean a new car is really more equivalent in price to a $50K car. Also most luxury cars get about 15-20MPG, which means the fuel savings would be about $14-$18K/over 5 years (double that for 10 years).
 

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For those interested in buying up "used Karma" Fisker of Orange county has 2 demo Karmas (eco sports) for ~80K....I would think about it, but my garage isn't big enough for 3 cars.
 

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This is a risk/reward situation, with the biggest risk not having a company to support our warranty. But we should still be able to get Fisker-specific parts from a variety of sources. There's a lot of money to be made, particularly since we are so passionate about this car.

A case in point is the Mooney Aircraft Co. It has been in and out of bankruptcy more times than I can remember and it's now down to 10 support staff. Talk about passionate owners (including myself) who call themselves "Mooniacs." Virtually all airframe parts are readily available and our fleet of several thousand airplanes - whose average age is around 40, are still happily flying. I purchased my Mooney new from a dealer in 1981 for about the same price as a Fisker and it still looks and performs like new. It's never been grounded by lack of parts. The Mooney and the Fisker actually have a lot in common: both came from visionary designers who used ground-breaking technology to achieve extraordinary performance. (Mooney: 231mph on 11gph at 20,000 feet; Fisker: 125mph on 0gph at sea level.)

Several better-known airplane manufacturers (including Piper) have been in and out of bankruptcy - yet their airplanes continue to fly. Newsletters by individuals have morphed into monthly magazines with technical articles, dealer ads, sources for parts, etc. I have no doubt the same thing will happen to us (if necessary) since there is a lot money to be made from the people who love this car. Even if Geeley or another partner/owner comes to the rescue, there are no guarantees. As Bob Marley said, "Don't worry, be happy."
 

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This is a risk/reward situation, with the biggest risk not having a company to support our warranty. But we should still be able to get Fisker-specific parts from a variety of sources. There's a lot of money to be made, particularly since we are so passionate about this car.

A case in point is the Mooney Aircraft Co. It has been in and out of bankruptcy more times than I can remember and it's now down to 10 support staff. Talk about passionate owners (including myself) who call themselves "Mooniacs." Virtually all airframe parts are readily available and our fleet of several thousand airplanes - whose average age is around 40, are still happily flying. I purchased my Mooney new from a dealer in 1981 for about the same price as a Fisker and it still looks and performs like new. It's never been grounded by lack of parts. The Mooney and the Fisker actually have a lot in common: both came from visionary designers who used ground-breaking technology to achieve extraordinary performance. (Mooney: 231mph on 11gph at 20,000 feet; Fisker: 125mph on 0gph at sea level.)

Several better-known airplane manufacturers (including Piper) have been in and out of bankruptcy - yet their airplanes continue to fly. Newsletters by individuals have morphed into monthly magazines with technical articles, dealer ads, sources for parts, etc. I have no doubt the same thing will happen to us (if necessary) since there is a lot money to be made from the people who love this car. Even if Geeley or another partner/owner comes to the rescue, there are no guarantees. As Bob Marley said, "Don't worry, be happy."
That was Bobby McFerrin, if I'm not mistaken.

Comparing planes to cars is a dubious exercise. There will always be a market for airplane parts because of the annual inspections required. One of the reason there are 40/50 year old airplanes still flying around is because new planes are too **** expensive. And an airplane doesn't get used every day, driven around in slush and salt and snow, or even in the rain in most cases. They aren't prone to collisions and corrosion on aluminum is for the most part a non-issue.

So planes are kept flying for a long time. And anybody wishing to accomodate the few parts an airplane needs, knows that the regulators have pretty much guaranteed a market for them.

If Fisker never builds another car, I would not bet on a huge cottage industry of aftermarket companies to support parts for it. A potential customer base of only 3000 is not big enough to warrant much attention, regardless of how avid its fan base is. It's about potential return on investment. You will easily be able to get parts for the GM engine for many years to come because that basic engine is in literally hundreds of thousands of GM cars. And a reasonably capable upholsterer will be able to handle keeping your interior looking fresh for a long time.

But as far as Fisker-unique pieces like fenders and bumpers and taillight assemblies, what's already out there is probably it. And for the electric drive components, good luck. Even if someone does spring up to reproduce these items, they will be prohibitively expensive. Manufacturers are only required to supply spare parts for I think seven years, 8 or 10 I believe for emissions related items (A neat little trick is to put parts on backorder until these terms are up. Daewoo did this). Unless there is sufficient demand, they'll stop supplying spares as soon as they can. They want to focus on new cars. And keep in mind that the OEMs are pretty much just assemblers at this point; most of the parts are made by third party suppliers, whose interest is even less.

For comparison's sake take at the spare parts situation of the DeLorean. There were less than 9000 made, considerably more than Fiskers to this point. Parts for the Peugeot-Volvo-Renault engine are fairly easy to come by, but unique pieces like body and interior parts are simply being moved around at this point, from parts cars to those that need them. Yes there is a company that bought up all the NOS parts back in the day, but there's a finite number. True, they are making some repros now, but again they are very expensive and the only reason they are able to do so is because they are selling "new" DeLoreans using these parts. And this small surge of new available parts took 30 years.

My suggestion? Pray for an investment partner who can get the line up and running again. If it were me, and I was planning on keeping my Karma for a long time, I would drive it VERY carefully.
 

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DeLorean is a good comparison...but let's hope it doesn't go down that path. :)

If the worst happened and Fisker went "DeLorean", someone would buy the tooling for the Karma. They would also probably start buying up the wrecked ones and creating a stockpile of parts.

Sure, there wouldn't be loads of money to be made but there would be profit nonetheless. They'd probably do limited runs of say "200 fenders" or whatever and just wait until those are sold out before making more. You see this kind of thing all the time with old, rare, classic, exotic cars...even wheels and tires get limited run reproductions.

I recall seeing some news magazine show about this DeLorean outfit a few years ago.
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=3428958

Anyway, someone will fill the niche, I'm confident of that. We may not like the delays to get parts and the prices they'll charge but you'll be able to hold onto the Karma if you like.
 

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The operative term in my earlier post is "passionate owner." In other words, it doesn't matter which of our toys become "limited editions." Yes, our Fiskers might be worth more to collectors or museums if no one is supplying parts for them. But I don't think that will happen . . . not as long we continue to be passionate about this car and money is to be made by parting cars out and through short-run production as Sandy Eggo suggests.

It's rare - perhaps once in a generation - when a car designed to fill a niche inspires people like the Fisker. What would be on your list: The 1953 Corvette? The first Jaguar XKE? Who is making parts for them now? For example, while only 300 '53 'Vettes were made, 255 are still accounted for today.

http://oddrob.com/corvetteStats.asp. Talk about passion.
 

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What about the destino, once could always have a conversion of the electical to a vet engine and transmission. I'm sure once should be able to order the fenders and other componets from the OEM ?
 

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The operative term in my earlier post is "passionate owner." In other words, it doesn't matter which of our toys become "limited editions." Yes, our Fiskers might be worth more to collectors or museums if no one is supplying parts for them. But I don't think that will happen . . . not as long we continue to be passionate about this car and money is to be made by parting cars out and through short-run production as Sandy Eggo suggests.

It's rare - perhaps once in a generation - when a car designed to fill a niche inspires people like the Fisker. What would be on your list: The 1953 Corvette? The first Jaguar XKE? Who is making parts for them now? For example, while only 300 '53 'Vettes were made, 255 are still accounted for today.

http://oddrob.com/corvetteStats.asp. Talk about passion.
Guys, you need to look at this from a business perspective. Having the most passionate customers in the world won't pay the bills if there aren't enough of them. Yes there are still 255 1953 Corvettes around, but that same basic car was around until 1962, and any number of parts were shared with innumerable other Chevy models. How long was the XKE in production, and how many were made?

Suppose you are the guy who buys the tooling for the Karma's LED taillamps. It won't be cost effective to build them one by one, so let's use Sandy's example -- churn out a bunch, and then wait to sell them. Or hope might be the proper word. How long would it take for a vehicle population of 3000 to need even 20 replacement taillamps? Especially when everyone who owns one knows how rare the car is and considers it a collectible and barely drives it anymore. Are you going to make that investment? Neither is anybody else. You can't make a sound business case for it, at least not at a price that a sane person will pay.

The Karma's problem if it "goes DeLorean" will be that it is too unique. The DeLorean shares a lot of parts with other mainstream cars. Maybe the Karma has Ford ball joints and such (most likely), but 15 years from now I expect the price of a Karma windshield to be quite dear, for example.

To put in a frame of reference what Karma owners will be up against in the future: In 1993 I restored my 1980 Firebird; I purchased all NOS sheetmetal for it, except for the repro driver's door skin (which fit like a saddle on a chicken). They were going obsolete as I did the job. I got literally the second to last NOS hood in the country in dealer stock. There were about a dozen NOS left front fenders in dealer stock. I remember because I had the search printouts from my local dealer. Only recently have decent repro fenders for that model become available. Keep in mind that in 1993 the car was merely 13 years old, and several hundred thousand of that generation model were made.

Occasionally we get customers in our store who are looking for parts for some low production or orphan car, let's say an Isuzu Trooper. When we discover that they aren't available from our usual channels, we sometimes get the reaction, "How could that be? I see these things all over the place." No, you notice every one you see, because you are passionate about that model. In real comparative numbers, Troopers are not "all over the place." And there are no Isuzu dealers anymore.

If Karma owners are having trouble getting parts now, it'll only get worse, unless production resumes of course. That's the big IF in the Fisker story, as always. So again, if it were me driving one of those 3000 Karmas, and I wanted to keep it forever, I would have to think about how much I drove it. Either that or start stocking up on replacement parts now.

Or you can just drive it like it was meant to be driven, and when it's all used up, hope there's a saved Karma out there that needs your parts.
 

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Hey Ira, that's funny u mention that. I'm a pilot as well, in the market for a plane. Prob going with a Cessna 172.
 

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So again, if it were me driving one of those 3000 Karmas, and I wanted to keep it forever, I would have to think about how much I drove it. Either that or start stocking up on replacement parts now.

Or you can just drive it like it was meant to be driven, and when it's all used up, hope there's a saved Karma out there that needs your parts.
Or, if the sh!t hits the fan - buy a gently used Karma (from someone looking to dump it) in the same color combo as yours and keep as your own personal parts car. Sounds a little nuts but I'd seriously consider it. :)
 

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Hey Lambo, as Mattjs33 pointed out on Page 1, you shouldn't have any problem owning and maintaining an airplane like the C-172. (You can send me a private message if you want to talk airplanes.)

Back to the conversation about what to do if and when we can't get parts for our cars. If Geeley or another strategic partner or buyer will join the party and Fisker can stay afloat by selling more cars of any model, it's likely we'll be able to get Karma parts in the foreseeable future.

If not, as Sandy Eggo says, we should be ready to buy an extra Karma or two when people start dumping them. (This reminds me of the old saying about having two XKEs -one to drive and the other to keep in your garage when the first Jag has an electrical or engine problem.)

I personally don't want to collect Karmas but I'd consider partnering on a spare car with like-minded owners if it comes to that. Besides sharing great info, this is another reason to stay wired-in through the "Buzz."
 

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I think 3D printing is going to solve this problem soon enough, particularly with cars like the Karma that were designed using CAD systems that can easily generate data files for 3D printers. The technology is not here yet, but at least according to Deloitte, it is definitely on its way.

For example, this is 3d printer Jay Leno uses to make spare parts for his fleet of old cars (click on the photo for an article from popular mechanics about Jay's use of 3d Printing):

 

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Well here's one we can use for parts---- :-(


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