China’s Wanxiang Group is going to reintroduce Fisker into the world under the name Elux by mid-2016, according to a report on Reuters.
The Chinese owners had to push back their plans of relaunching the brand later this year after acquiring the bankrupt Fisker back in 2014. Wanxiang is currently revising the Karma in order to become once again technologically relevant against its modern competition. Unnamed sources told Reuters that Wanxiang wants to price the revised Karma from around $135,000, almost 20% higher than before.
Fisker Automotive was launched in 2007 and despite being financially supported by the U.S. government, filed for bankruptcy in 2012. The company’s co-founder Henry Fisker was also holding the pen that designed cars like the Aston Martin DB9 and BMW Z8.
The same sources said that the new Karma will be based heavily on Fisker’s original design. The car will continue using a gasoline-electric powertrain with Wanxiang said to be spending millions in refreshing the car’s mechanical components. The new Karma will not be assembled in Finland as it was originally planned with a new production site to be finalized.
Fisker Automotive was considered one of the first direct rivals of Tesla Motors and this is where this story gets intriguing; Wanxiang is also the owner of A123 Systems, which develops and produces large battery packs. Before going bankrupt as well, A123 Systems were the suppliers of the battery packs the original Karma was using and is expected to do so with the new car as well.
Last week, Apple received a lawsuit by no other than A123 Systems, being accused for aggressively poaching some of the battery maker’s leading engineers in order to continue working in similar projects with theirs. Rumours say that the engineers that left for Apple were so important that the projects they were working on had to be cancelled completely.
The only safe assumption we can make out of this is that Wanxiang is dead serious about entering the electric-car business and after connecting the dots, we anticipate even more how this new ‘Elux’ brand will turn out.
Until then, let’s hope for less lawsuits and more creativity.