Fisker Launched In The Middle East

On Tuesday this week, Fisker Automotive made its official Middle East appearance in the heart of oil production land.

Exclusive Fisker distributorship Trading Enterprises and Fisker Automotive unveiled the gas-electric Karma sedan in front of global and regional media at Al Badia Golf Club, Dubai Festival City.

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The Executive Class Edition

In which we bring you motoring news from around the Web:

• Fisker Automotive on Thursday announced the appointment of Tom LaSorda, a former executive at General Motors and Chrysler, as vice chairman of Fisker’s board. He will also advise the management team on the company’s daily operations. As vice chairman of the Chrysler Group, Mr. LaSorda helped to broker the company’s sale to Cerberus Capital Management in 2007. Earlier this week, Fisker announced that Richard Beattie, formerly the head of sales and marketing for Jaguar North America, had joined as the company’s chief commercial officer. The appointments were made in a week when the base price for the Fisker Karma sedan increased from roughly $96,000 to just over $100,000. (Fisker)

• Ford said Wednesday that it expected its Focus Electric hatchback, which is scheduled to go on sale in a limited rollout next year, to receive a rating of 100 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) from the Environmental Protection Agency. In a press conference, Ford representatives said the Focus would be the only five-seat passenger car available to achieve the rating. With an optional 240-watt charger, the car’s 23 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack would recharge in just over three hours, the company said. (Ford)

• Citing intractable disagreements with company executives, the administrator appointed by a Swedish court to oversee the reorganization of Saab has reportedly asked for a reassignment. Guy Lofalk, the administrator, and Saab jointly requested that the lawyer Lars-Henrik Andersson be appointed in Mr. Lofalk’s stead, according to the Web site of the court. Saab announced Tuesday that the first round of financing from one of its two Chinese joint partners, Youngman, had arrived, in the amount of 3.4 million euros, or roughly $4.4 million. (Reuters)

• A work stoppage that began Monday at the Lordstown, Ohio, plant where the Chevrolet Cruze is produced has yet to be lifted. Production was halted because of a problem with an unidentified supplier. General Motors, Chevrolet’s parent, has not commented further on the nature of the supplier problem. The Cruze has been G.M.’s highest-selling sedan in 2011, with nearly as many units delivered in the United States as the Toyota Corolla, the country’s highest-selling compact car. (The Detroit Free Press)

Fisker Karma to Weigh More Than 5,000 Pounds

The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid is a relative heavyweight at more than 5,000 pounds, said a board member and the chief executive of the company’s powertrain supplier.

“It’s a pretty heavy car,” said Jason Forcier, vice president of A123 Systems, Fisker Automotive’s battery supplier, and a Fisker board member. “But you have to look at all the technology, which includes a large gas engine, large electric motors and large batteries.”
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Fisker Karma: Ready to Roll?

Fisker Automotive finally closed on its $528.7 million Energy Department loan April 23, and now the biggest item on the to-do list is to actually produce its $87,900 plug-in hybrid car, the Karma, by the end of the year.

Fisker was founded in the summer of 2007, and many people have been eagerly anticipating the Karma. And why not? The car is undeniably attractive, with a compelling environmental story and (at least on paper) rip-roaring high performance. Henrik Fisker, the chief executive, is also a charismatic figure. But just months from the car’s debut, very few people outside the company have driven it. (The crown prince of Denmark got a Karma ride to a climate conference.)
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