Fisker returns to sell vision of Delaware auto future

    Henrick Fisker received a warm welcome as he returned to the First State to sell his vision of producing hybrid electric cares in Delaware to the audience at the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce annual dinner.

    Henrick Fisker didn’t make quite the same splash he did last October when he announced his company, Fisker Automotive, would purchase the shuttered GM Boxwood Road plant and convert it to produce hybrid electric cars. [audio:100309TBFISKER.mp3]

    But Fisker certainly received a warm welcome as he returned to the First State to sell his vision, and the battery technology behind it, to the audience at the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce annual dinner.

    Delaware Governor Jack Markell (D) suggested to Fisker and his Chief Operating officer Bernhard Koehler they may be greeted at the event as conquering heroes, and added that judging from what he saw, they were.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    “We are looking extremely forward to come here to Delaware.” said Fisker, “If it was up to me, I would like to start production tomorrow, but we do need a little time to actually do the car.”

    Fisker, the keynote speaker, spoke for about 20 minutes, outlining why he feels the time is right to introduce his line of hybrid electrics, what separates them from other similar hybrid offerings, and how Delaware fits into his plans.

    Fisker believes in 10 years, almost all auto manufacturers will offer a plug-in hybrid.  His goal is to get ahead of the curve.

    “One of the essential things is who will come to the market first and conquer this market and convince the consumer that this is the right technology.  And that has to happen in the U.S.” said Fisker.

    Fisker’s first car, the $90,000 Karma sports sedan, is slated to hit the market this fall, but its is being produced in Finland.

    Fisker says plans to begin production on the cheaper, family oriented, Nina (price tag $47,000) in Delaware are moving forward on schedule.

    “Already, at the end of next year, we hopefully will start the pilot production here in Delaware and then, in 2012, go into full scale production, eventually producing more than 100,000 vehicles a year for worldwide consumption.”

    Fisker plans to export at least half of the cars produced in Delaware through the Port of Wilmington.

    Last week at the Geneva Motor Show, Fisker told reporters he also hopes to produce the next generation of Karmas in Delaware staring in 2016.

    Fisker COO Bernhard Koehler is expected to offer a similar peak at Fisker’s plans when he speaks at the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce Legislative Brunch and Manufacturing Conference later this month.

    WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal