Questions about Fisker’s future in Delaware

As the electric carmaker unveiled its less-expensive sedan in New York City, questions remain about whether the new car, the Fisker Atlantic, will be built in Delaware at all.

The Atlantic, which is expected to sell for about $50,000, was officially revealed with much fanfare at a gala event in New York.  While the flashy event finally shed light on a sleek-looking sedan, there are undercurrents of doubt surrounding where the car will be built.  The New York Times reports that the company’s ability to manufacture the car in Delaware or anywhere else in the United States “is anyone’s guess.”

The company has run into a number of problems including a breakdown during a Consumer Reports test drive, and a replacement of all batteries on the 2012 Fisker Karma.  The company’s resurrection of the shuttered GM plant on Boxwood Road in Newport had been a much-touted boon for Delaware’s manufacturing sector.  The return of those jobs appears to be on hold as the company waits for loan money from the U.S. Department of Energy to be unfrozen.

A spokesman for Governor Jack Markell said while Fisker has maintained for some time that it would have to consider looking elsewhere if the DoE loan did not come through, this was the first time it had been stated in a direct manner by Fisker’s CEO Tom LaSorda. 

The state’s investment into the success of Fisker at the plant involved loans that would be converted into grants if Fisker met hiring targets, according to Governor Markell’s spokesman and Chief Strategy Officer Brian Selander.  “The state stands ready to welcome them into production, or to trigger recovery clauses if needed,” Selander said.

“Fisker chose Delaware over many other locations across the country and our state remains its first choice,” Delaware Economic Development Office Director Alan Levin said in a statement.  “Thanks to the work that’s already been completed, the site is better than ever.  We will continue to work with Fisker to help it achieve our shared commitment to build its cars in Delaware.”

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