Fisker to Build New Technical Center in the Midwest, Continues Development of the Atlantic

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Despite facing more than a few setbacks, Fisker Automotive is pushing ahead with its plans and announced today that it will establish a new technical center in the Midwest as it continues development of the Atlantic, its second model after the Karma.

Although a location hasn’t been selected yet, South Eastern Michigan has been named by the company as a likely site for the new facility that’s scheduled to open in spring 2013.

Fisker stated that building its new technical center in the Midwest will bring it “closer to key component suppliers and low emission technical expertise at the heart of the American automotive industry, and closer to the intended production facility for the Atlantic in Delaware”.

The company’s previous technical center, in which the Karma sedan was developed, was based in Pontiac, Michigan from fall 2008 until spring 2010.

“We brought the Fisker Karma to market in record time with the help of our previous Michigan Technical facility, and now is the time to open up a permanent Technical Center to support the final Atlantic development,” said Fisker Executive Chairman and co-founder Henrik Fisker.

Like the Karma, the Atlantic will be a range-extender plug-in hybrid. Despite keeping the overall looks of the US$100K flagship saloon it will be much more affordable, as it will be priced at around US$50,000, and be produced in much bigger numbers, being Fisker’s first mass-market model.

Despite the company’s ambitious announcements, though, there are still hurdles that it must overcome. First of all, it managed to withdraw just US$193 million out of the US$529 million low-cost loan awarded to the company by the Energy Department before the latter froze the loan.

As a result, work on the Delaware plant stopped and the production of the Atlantic that has originally been scheduled to start at the end of this year, has been pushed back a couple of years to late 2014 or 2015.

Still the company remains optimistic, stating that a significant amount of the Atlantic’s development has been done and the new Technical Center, details of which will be released in early 2013 will "spearhead final product development, component readiness and production launch”.

By Andrew Tsaousis