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A Karma plug-in-hybrid sports car on the streets of Pasadena in 2013, before Fisker Automotive filed for bankruptcy. (Patrick Ponticel)

Chinese company's U.S. arm completes acquisition of Fisker

Wanxiang America Corp. (the U.S. arm of a Chinese auto parts manufacturer) has completed the acquisition of the assets of failed U.S. auto startup Fisker Automotive, the companies announced today (March 25). Wanxiang last month won an auction for the assets with a bid of about $150 million, but closing of the deal had to wait until federal regulatory approvals were granted. As part of its bid, the company promised to restart production of the Karma plug-in-hybrid sport car, which Fisker had produced in very low volumes and with the help of a $528.7 million conditional federal loan from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Technologies Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program that it later defaulted on. The Karma was assembled by Valmet at a plant in Finland. Fisker had planned to move production to the U.S.—to a closed General Motors plant in Delaware it purchased. But those plans did not come to fruition, and the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2013 having sold fewer than 2000 units. Wanxiang said it is considering whether to build the Karma and several variants in Delaware or at a different U.S. location. Last year Wanxiang purchased U.S. battery maker A123Systems, which also had received a DOE loan.

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