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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am a relatively new Fisker owner but a long time Tesla owner. I am wondering if anyone has an explanation as to why Tesla owners are more forgiving v Fisker owners with regards to technical glitches (and the company in general)? The Model S seems to have more (or maybe the same amount of early) technical glitches as the Fisker (i.e. cold weather issues, cars DOA, blackouts, etc). I know several Tesla fans (my friends) who even after experiencing these issues did not want to discuss them publicly. Not to mention that the Model S is Tesla's second car and this is Fisker's first car (much more advanced than Tesla's first car). I just don't get the reasoning behind it. The Tesla fan base is under the "early adopter" mantra where as this fan base seems to be under the "must be perfect" mantra. In my opinion what Fisker has done in the past 3-4 years has been unbelievable (probably more significant than what Tesla did in the 5-6 years leading up to the Roadster 1.5). I am just trying to figure out why the vast majority of people on this board do not realize this.:huh:
 

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I'm glad you asked that question. I'm not informed about Tesla owners, but have been surprised at the expectations of writers, not just on this forum (for example Brian on youtube), who want a Lexus or Audi experience with their Fisker.
 

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I am going to move this thread to the "Car Lounge" thread because it fits nicely with the other Tesla discussion there, and would be on-topic in that forum.
 

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This is an interesting observation. My personal guess is that Tesla delivered the Model S on schedule and on spec with regard to performance. That bought them a great deal of goodwill among the customer base that they can draw on to get through the initial problems. Fisker, by contrast, delivered the car three years late, at a much higher price than originally suggested, and the car was heavier and slower than promised. When you start with such a deficit of goodwill, it's hard to expect buyers to also cut you slack on teething issues.

You can see this from the comments made by folks who bought their car off the lot as opposed to ordering it three-four years in advance and being told repeatedly that there will be a delay. The newer owners who were not subject to that wait tend to be pretty positive and accepting of the car's quirks.

Again, this is my speculation about how I felt when I finally got my car.
 

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I think its the apple-like aura tesla built up. It's bred fanboys vs customers in some cases. Fanboys will excuse anything.

Beyond that, tesla seems to be in a better position overall and they're delivering updates somewhat regularly. I don't know what it's been like for fisker owners, but they does tend to build good will.
 

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Interesting observation. Maybe because the car performance impresses everyone. All videos I have seen so far have people giggling when they push the "gas" pedal in the model S.

I think there is no doubt Fisker is more beautiful both outside and inside. I did not mind that the bluetooth did not work in the car I test drove, or that sound came only from the left speakers.... To me, the biggest let down was the subdued performance. I think this was a missed opportunity in the concept.

Someone was writing on this forum that a lot of people go into Tesla stores to order the ebtry level low battery pack and walk out of there with the performance model ordered. Fisker should have something similar - keep the echo friendly / average performance option, but also offer a top level trim with 0-60 times that puts a smile on people's faces.
 

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I think the observations about "over promising and under delivering" on timing, performance, etc are very astute.

They dug a hole for themselves and then "kept digging" with the recalls, glitches, a fire, bad press, Hurricane Sandy, a bankrupt battery supplier, ******* politicians, etc.

I will say this - I was very late to the party and the Karma only caught my eye a month ago. The bugs have been worked out (for the most part) and well, I'm here to tell you "the water is fine...come on in". I'm very satisfied with my purchase.

It would truly be a shame if the company cannot find a partner and carry on. If they can "reboot" then the stage is set for them to succeed.
 

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I think Fisker's main mistake, compared to Tesla, was the lack of exhaustive testing. They didn't have enough cars on the road, and they didn't have them on the road long enough. When hundreds of customer cars had already been built and delivered to owners, they were still doing the testing that should have been done before.

They should have built, as they said late 2010, one hundred cars and they should have driven them for millions of miles. Then the main bugs (engine noise, slow touch screen, software bugs, panels not fitting) would have been fixed on time, and Fisker would have gotten the Tesla-treatment.

I don't know though if Fisker could have found more time for testing. They were facing a no win situation with the over-optimistic time schedule (remember end of 2009!), disgruntled reservation holders (enduring delay after delay) and the deadlines for the DoE-loan. The time they needed to properly test the car simply wasn't there under the conditions Fisker created for itself.
 

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Very interesting discussion. One thing I would add from my experience on both forums is that many Tesla owners tend to be EV zealots while Fisker owners tend to be car enthusiasts. "Drinking the Kool-Aid" can make people more tolerant of the car's limitations, and the Model S definitely has some. Also, the Karma is more often being compared against other luxury/sport cars that were previously owned. Much less true with the Model S.
 

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I agree with Dennis here. I wouldn't necessarily call Tesla customers less demanding (after tons of threads on missing features like seat back pockets, adaptive cruise control, etc.), but I do believe they are for the most part a different customer.

For many Tesla customers, this is the most they've ever spent on a car. A previous vehicle very likely included a Prius. They are drawn to Tesla vehicles for their technology, primarily the impressive zero emissions high performance drivetrain. Some would rather wait around for an hour than use a drop of gas. They credit Tesla for restarted the EV industry.

I get the sense that many Karma customers are first drawn to the car for it's unique and bold styling. The "green cred" is a side benefit, but they quickly learn to appreciate the feel of an electric drivetrain. They are likely to have owned other attractive cars.

There was a TMC thread which asked the question, would you be buying the Model S if it weren't an EV. The clear consensus (especially given the ~$90K price tag) was no. Whereas I would expect the Karma would sell at least as well if not better if it were not a plug-in, even at $100K.
 

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I agree with Dennis here. I wouldn't necessarily call Tesla customers less demanding (after tons of threads on missing features like seat back pockets, adaptive cruise control, etc.), but I do believe they are for the most part a different customer.

For many Tesla customers, this is the most they've ever spent on a car. A previous vehicle very likely included a Prius. They are drawn to Tesla vehicles for their technology, primarily the impressive zero emissions high performance drivetrain. Some would rather wait around for an hour than use a drop of gas. They credit Tesla for restarted the EV industry.

I get the sense that many Karma customers are first drawn to the car for it's unique and bold styling. The "green cred" is a side benefit, but they quickly learn to appreciate the feel of an electric drivetrain. They are likely to have owned other attractive cars.

There was a TMC thread which asked the question, would you be buying the Model S if it weren't an EV. The clear consensus (especially given the ~$90K price tag) was no. Whereas I would expect the Karma would sell at least as well if not better if it were not a plug-in, even at $100K.
I can't disagree with this assessment , at least with respect to my buying decision. I just hope Fisker finds a partner to continue and improve from the lesson of the karma. If they do build the Atlantic , I hope they read FB, for the data and recommendations from this board is excellent market research.
 

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I agree with Dennis here.

I get the sense that many Karma customers are first drawn to the car for it's unique and bold styling. The "green cred" is a side benefit, but they quickly learn to appreciate the feel of an electric drivetrain. They are likely to have owned other attractive cars.

There was a TMC thread which asked the question, would you be buying the Model S if it weren't an EV. The clear consensus (especially given the ~$90K price tag) was no. Whereas I would expect the Karma would sell at least as well if not better if it were not a plug-in, even at $100K.
@doug, you just described me. If I am the typical Karma owner, then you are spot on.
 

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I get the sense that many Karma customers are first drawn to the car for it's unique and bold styling.
If Lutz can pull it off, it'll be interesting to see how many Karma-styled Destinos his company can sell, even at $180K, and how many Karma owners would "trade up."
 

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Fisker, by contrast, delivered the car three years late

Would you explain this statement, please?

Here's a comment from Henrik in 2008:

"We are very excited about the initial test results of the Fisker Karma prototype," said Henrik Fisker, CEO, Fisker Automotive. "The vehicle dynamics and fuel economy have performed better than expected and we remain on target for our fourth quarter 2009 initial delivery."

Actual deliveries began late fourth quarter to retail customers in late 2011. I figure that as only two years late. Are you referring to some other earlier promised delivery day - prior to 2009?
 

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Would you explain this statement, please?

Here's a comment from Henrik in 2008:

"We are very excited about the initial test results of the Fisker Karma prototype," said Henrik Fisker, CEO, Fisker Automotive. "The vehicle dynamics and fuel economy have performed better than expected and we remain on target for our fourth quarter 2009 initial delivery."

Actual deliveries began late fourth quarter to retail customers in late 2011. I figure that as only two years late. Are you referring to some other earlier promised delivery day - prior to 2009?
There had been earlier statements about delivering the car in 2009 without specifying that it was at the end of the year. The first car was ceremoniously delivered to Ray Lane of Kleiner Perkins in July 2011 but because the car had not been approved by the California EPA (ARB) he could not legally drive it on the roads in California but, for a short while, Fisker was trying to count that as the start of the deliveries.

When the cars finally arrived, it was in very very late 2011, in last days of December 2011. If you go back and read the posts from that time frame here, you will see that we were actually tracking shipments from Germany to New Jersey and the first couple of shipments were 20-50 cars each and the volume shipments did not really start until late January, early February 2012.

I think the damage to the goodwill was done more by Fisker's denial and spinning than by the delay itself. If you have seen any of my posts, you will know that I am a huge supporter of the company and the car, and I absolutely love my Karma. But Fisker did not make it easy in the early days, and combined with all the political nonsense that ensued in the election year, they generated a lot of their own headwinds.
 

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@doug, you just described me. If I am the typical Karma owner, then you are spot on.
And I am actually more the typical EV-type he described. That must be one reason why I recently sold my Karma (and for some other compelling reasons I will not dwell upon) and have now made a Model S reservation.
 

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There had been earlier statements about delivering the car in 2009 without specifying that it was at the end of the year. The first car was ceremoniously delivered to Ray Lane of Kleiner Perkins in July 2011 but because the car had not been approved by the California EPA (ARB) he could not legally drive it on the roads in California but, for a short while, Fisker was trying to count that as the start of the deliveries.

When the cars finally arrived, it was in very very late 2011, in last days of December 2011. If you go back and read the posts from that time frame here, you will see that we were actually tracking shipments from Germany to New Jersey and the first couple of shipments were 20-50 cars each and the volume shipments did not really start until late January, early February 2012.

I think the damage to the goodwill was done more by Fisker's denial and spinning than by the delay itself. If you have seen any of my posts, you will know that I am a huge supporter of the company and the car, and I absolutely love my Karma. But Fisker did not make it easy in the early days, and combined with all the political nonsense that ensued in the election year, they generated a lot of their own headwinds.
I meant no disrespect, I was just curious if there had been an earlier promised delivery date. I vividly remember reading about the Ray Lane delivery (I'm a long-time lurker before I finally joined) and I know that customers only really got their cars right before Christmas.

Three years just sounded so much worse. Thanks for your explanation.

BTW, if anyone recognizes my name from another green auto blog, they'll understand that I'm very much impressed with Fisker and what they've accomplished. Way out of my league to buy, but certainly something to aspire to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
And I am actually more the typical EV-type he described. That must be one reason why I recently sold my Karma (and for some other compelling reasons I will not dwell upon) and have now made a Model S reservation.

Congrats! Hopefully Tesla fixes all the major issues with the Model S and has a fully sorted car by the time they begin European sales. It can be a frustrating experience but I am sure they will get there (like Fisker with the Karma). I also hope they also fix that silly delivery model that they have; strangest experience I have ever had buying a car.
 
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