Fisker Karma Production Set for March, But Customers Not Informed

By · January 18, 2011

Fisker Karma Brochure

Fisker uses provocative imagery in the brochure for the Karma plug-in hybrid.

The first deliveries of the Fisker Karma luxury plug-in were originally scheduled for 2009, and then 2010, and have now slipped to early 2011. Russell Datz, a spokesman for Fisker Automotive, confirmed in an email to PluginCars.com that “regular production will start in March with deliveries expected to begin soon after.” He added that “pinning down a specific date” for delivery would “be difficult.”

The company aims to build and sell about 15,000 Karmas in 2011.

Uncertainty about delivery dates is affecting Fisker dealerships and prospective customers. Jason Glast, a realtor and attorney in San Antonio, Tex., told PluginCars.com, “My dealer said they think my Karma will be here in April.” Glast said that Barrett Jaguar (which sells Fisker automobiles) didn’t make a firm promise for April, but only indicated that April was the timeframe it was “hearing.”

The Fisker Karma is built in Finland, so even if regular production begins in March, it will presumably take longer than one month for shipping and delivery—pushing deliveries to late spring, at the earliest.

Glast was inspired to put down a $1,000 refundable deposit last April, when Barrett Jaguar had a Karma in the showroom for a few hours. “It was gorgeous but we weren't allowed to drive it,” Glast said. “I think the Karma is one of the best looking cars I have ever seen.”

Glast has previously owned a Toyota Prius, but more recently bought a Jaguar XJL Supercharged, which he said “averages 18 mpg” and describes as “a plush land yacht.”

Beyond its beauty, the Fisker Karma appeals to Glast for professional reasons. “I have found that having a beautiful luxury vehicle is essential for my profession, selling luxury homes, because the client wants to hire someone they think is successful and perhaps even like them,” Glast said. “It's good to drive something that is different. The toughest thing in real estate is standing out in a huge crowd.”

Glast continues to wonder when he will receive the Karma, and he is concerned about the recent change in price. The price of the Karma, first announced at $80,000, has mostly recently climbed to $95,900 for EcoStandard; $103,900 for EcoSport; and $108,900 for EcoChic. See the attached order form.

“The change in price is concerning. Not just that it's more money, but the fact that I was told nothing about it until I asked my dealer about ordering the car,” Glast said.

Glast was hoping that Fisker would be able to fully explain the increase. “Is the company in trouble? Do they need more capital? Did they make a mistake in evaluating how much this car would take to make?” he wondered. “I'm not sure what it means for the future of the car and the company.” Fisker's Datz recently explained that the new price of $95,900, is within few hundred dollars of the "originally priced MSRP of $87,900," after federal tax incentives.

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