Fisker строит собственный завод в Калифорнии по производству EluxFisker Karma
Fisker объявил о своем намерении вернуться на американский рынок.
Новый Fisker, который официально известен как Fisker Automotive and Technology Group (FATG), объявил о планах открыть завод по производству седана Karma в Морено Вэлли, Калифорния. С тех пор, как китайская компания “Wanxiang” купила обанкротившегося Fisker в 2014 году, было намерение компании вернуться на американский рынок. (more…)
Shocker: An electric car company actually meets production goals (and yes, it’s Tesla)
#SuryaRay #Surya Once again electric car pioneer Tesla Motors is the lone firm out of its electric car peers that says it’s going to do something, and then actually (usually) does it. According to Automotive News, Tesla has now reached its goal of producing 400 Model S electric cars per week, or around 20,000 cars per year.
This rate of production has been Tesla’s goal for months — if not years — and it’s a big step on the company’s path to profitability this year. Back in November, during its latest quarterly earnings, Tesla said it was on track to reach this milestone after having to scale back its original production goals a couple months earlier in September. It also means that all those customers on the waiting list to get their Model S cars — there were 13,200 as of the third quarter — will get their cars sooner, rather than later.
However, as I’ve written before, Tesla seems to be the exception rather than the rule in the struggling world of independent electric car makers and batteries made for electric cars. Electric car infrastructure maker Better Place shuffled out its second CEO in as many months last week, and laid off a big chunk of staff in the face of very slow adoption of its electric car service in Israel.
Electric car startup Fisker hasn’t made any of its hybrid electric Karma cars in months, and is looking for a Chinese partner, investor or acquirer with deep pockets to offer it a lifeline. Fisker’s original production goal at the beginning of its life was 5,000 Karmas in 2011, and it’s made around 1,900. A123 Systems, which has been making batteries for Fisker’s Karma, went bankrupt last year and then was bought by Chinese auto tech giant Wanxiang.
For the auto giants like GM and Nissan, which have been making their own mainstream electric cars, production isn’t a problem. It’s just that sales are a little slow. GM sold a total of 23,461 Volts in 2012, up from the 7,671 sold in 2011, and Nissan sold 9,819 Leafs in 2012, according to AutoblogGreen. GM originally wanted to sell 45,000 Volts in 2012.
So why is it so hard for independent electric car companies to meet their targets, and large auto makers to hit sales targets? For the auto giants, the market is only just emerging. GM’s Volt and the Nissan LEAF are the first mass produced plug-in battery cars on the market in the U.S. Auto exec Bob Lutz, who kickstarted GM’s Volt and is now on the board of some startups, says the transition to electric cars will be very slow.
For independent car startups, commercial scale production can be daunting and take a lot longer than expected, too. Many things can go wrong, and the it can take months to streamline the process of auto manufacturing. Tesla was founded back in 2003, and its pilot car — where it made errors and suffered delays — was the original Roadster. It’s taken Tesla this many years to get to its closer to mainstream auto maker status just pushing out 400 cars per week.
Filed under: Green, Fisker, Green Automakers, Electric, HybridNew rumors says that Wanxiang will get rid of the Fisker name and replace it with Elux and that the Karma PHEV relaunch is being pushed back to 2016.
Wanxiang: Come la Cina Aumenta il suo Capitale di Tecnologie Pulite
Wanxiang è una delle più aggressive aziende cinesi che sta continuando ad aumentare la sua importanza nel panorama delle energie pulite negli USA facendo piazza pulita di aziende del settore green tech.
Let’s end the week with a couple of new energy developments, led by word that China and the European Union could be heading for a new showdown after the pair narrowly avoided a trade war last year over dumping accusations towards Chinese solar panels.
Fisker may be down, but it might not stay down forever. The company behind the Karma luxury hybrid shut down late last year and was purchased by Chinese OEM supplier Wanxiang Group, which intends to restart production. It just can’t tell us when.
Speaking with Automotive News Europe, Wanxgiang executives indicated they have some work on their hands, sorting out 250 “bugs” it has found in the existing Karma. Once it has those sorted out, it plans to start production again at the Valmet plant in Finland before potentially moving assembly to the plant in Delaware that Fisker had acquired from General Motors. The executives were touring the United States to inspect their battery factory in Michigan, visit the plant in Delaware and meet with government officials in Washington.
Wanxiang apparently has even bigger ambitions than that, however. The latest news is that it intends to expand the rebooted Fisker with a second model sometime in 2017. The company has not provided any details as to what that form that model might take, but prior to its bankruptcy, Fisker displayed a smaller concept sedan called the Atlantic at the 2012 New York Auto Show.
Fisker had previously revealed the Surf wagon and Sunset convertible concepts based on the Karma as well, but there’s no telling at this point if Wanxiang has any intent on putting those into production any time in the near future.
Chinese giant Wanxiang wins bid for bankrupt A123 and its battery tech
#SuryaRay #Surya Chinese auto tech behemoth Wanxiang has won the bidding process in an auction to buy the assets of bankrupt battery maker A123 Systems. On Sunday the companies announced that Wanxiang plans to acquire most of the assets of A123 for $256.6 million. It’s news that could be a bit controversial, given A123 received a $132 million grant from the U.S. government, and could now be owned by a Chinese company.
One of the reasons Wanxiang’s offer to buy up A123 had been controversial was because A123 had some U.S. military contracts, which critics didn’t want to see in the hands of a Chinese company. But A123 decided to sell off its government business, including all its U.S. military contracts, to Illinois-based company Navitas Systems, for $2.25 million. Wanxiang acquired the rest of the assets including the grid storage business.
We’ll see if that move silences politician critics like U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa). The deal still has to be approved by the bankruptcy court as well as the Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States (CIFIUS).
If approved, the future of A123 System’s lithium ion battery tech will fittingly be owned by a Chinese auto giant, as China is increasingly becoming one of the most important markets for electric vehicles. Money from Chinese investors, conglomerates, cities and the government, continues to drive a significant amount of the future of next-generation electric car technology.
The deal also provides a future for A123′s technology, which had a promising beginning, but had suffered a series of setbacks in 2012. Venture-backed A123 held the largest IPO in 2009, raising some $371 million, and was trading at over $20 per share when it started trading. A123 also raised more than $350 million from private investors when it was still a startup.
Yet in recent months, it suffered from manufacturing problems, and also had only a handful of customers for its premium batteries. The company had been losing boat loads of money for years.
The Wanxiang deal still won’t make back enough to cover its debts. A123 says:
Because the total purchase price for A123’s assets would be less than the total amount owed to creditors, the Company does not anticipate any recoveries for its current shareholders and believes its stock to have no value.
Now that the A123 bankruptcy is moving forward, it will be interesting to see what Fisker Automotive, one of A123′s prime customers, will do. Fisker had told the media that it is waiting for the results of the A123 auction before it starts back up assembling its Karma cars.
This isn’t Wanxiang’s first cleantech and clean energy acquisition — it’s actually its fifth in 2012, says the company in a release. Wanxiang has been aggressively acquiring under valued American cleantech and clean energy companies.
The Fisker, a gorgeous plug-in hybrid car, appears poised to return.
A reorganized Fisker Automotive has taken an 11-year lease on a building in Moreno Valley, Calif., east of Los Angeles, where production of the car could begin anew, the Los Angeles Times reports.
This time, however, Fisker is backed by a Chinese company, Wanxiang Group, which picked up Fisker assets out of bankruptcy court after production stopped by 2013 with fewer than 2,500 cars made.
About 150 workers are expected to be part of the project, which would indicate relatively small scale.
Fisker often drew comparisons to Tesla Motors. The two companies started production on large, swept-back sedans about the same time, both with benefit of government loans. But Fisker, founded by auto designer Henrik Fisker, made a plug-in hybrid, not a full electric like Tesla.
The Karma, as the model was known, won attention for its beautiful design. Fisker planned to build a newer, more affordable model called the Atlantic, but the company faltered before he could get it off the ground.
InnoSpring Receives $10 Million Strategic Investment From China's Wanxiang Group Corporation
SANTA CLARA, CA–(Marketwired - Aug 24, 2015) - InnoSpring (Silicon Valley), Silicon Valley’s first US-China technology incubator platform, announced today that its holding company InnoSpring (based in Shanghai, China) has closed $10 million in strategic investment from Wanxiang Group, China’s largest automotive components manufacturer and one of China’s largest financial services enterprises. Wanxiang’s capital infusion will enable InnoSpring to bolster its industrialization and financial services capabilities, to further expand its portfolio of startups, and to increase services to entrepreneurs who are focused on leveraging US-China cross-border resources to develop products and technologies that could shape the way the world works in the next decade.
“InnoSpring’s vision is to be the global launchpad for startups,” said Wanfeng Liu, Chairman and CEO of InnoSpring. “We are honored to receive funding and to welcome as our strategic partner an industry giant with decades-long success spanning multiple industries, both in China and internationally. Wanxiang’s investment in InnoSpring is a testament to their confidence in InnoSpring’s platform, strategic plan and mission.”
Wanxiang is one of China’s top industrial corporations. In addition to auto parts manufacturing, Wanxiang’s business covers financial, industrial and agricultural industries. Wanxiang America Corporation, based in Elgin, IL, has over 12,000 employees and has invested in companies including Suniva (the largest solar module manufacturer in US), Smith (the world’s largest commercial electric vehicle supplier), A123 (Nasdaq-listed lithium batteries and energy storage systems company), and Fisker (luxury electric car manufacturer).
“By collaborating with Wanxiang Group, InnoSpring will be able to greatly improve our capability to provide portfolio companies with technological expertise, development help, resources and opportuinities that they need to scale rapidly,” said Dr. Xiao Wang, Genernal Manager of InnoSpring (SV). “And with Wanxiang’s strength in the financial industry, our startups can look forward to leveraging expanded financial services throughout their zero-to-IPO life cycles.”
To date, InnoSpring has invested in a string of successful startups that are worth $500 million in valuations, including technology mentoring platform HackHands, which was acquired by Pluralsight, and mobile security firm TrustGo, which was acquired by search giant Baidu; law analytics platform Lex Machina and Dew Mobile, which built Zapya, a file-transfer platform with 200 million users worldwide.
“Wanxiang is proud to be a strategic investor, partner and resource for InnoSpring,” said Feng Xiao, Vice Chairman & Executive Director of Wanxiang Holdings. “For US startups planning to expand to China and to the global markets, or Chinese companies looking to expand to US and internationally, choosing InnoSpring as their partner means getting an unparalleled entrée into these markets, and a strong network of support resources, of which Wanxiang Group is now a proud contributor.”
About InnoSpring InnoSpring is an innovation service provider for startups with global influence owned and operated by Shanghai Chuangyuan (InnoSpring) Tech Development Inc. InnoSpring provides three kinds of services: office space, innovative services and investment management. InnoSpring’s Chinese name is “Chuangyuan”. It means the source of innovation. InnoSpring was founded in 2012, and is now a global network of innovation services headquartered in Shanghai. Currently, InnoSpring has science parks and incubators in Shanghai, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Nantong, and Kunshan. www.innospring.net
About InnoSpring Silicon Valley Founded in 2012, InnoSpring Silicon Valley (SV) is the first US-China incubator platform for globally-minded startups. It is focused on encouraging startups to expand beyond their home countries to lead huge market opportunities in the US and China, and beyond. The company’s proven track record is underpinned by its ecosystem of mentors, financing, and resources on both sides of the Pacific. InnoSpring SV is a joint project between InnoSpring Holding (Shanghai), Tsinghua University Science Park (TusPark), Shui On Group (Shui On), Northern Light Venture Capital (NLVC) and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). InnoSpring SV is located in Santa Clara, California. www.innospringus.com
About Wanxiang Group Corporation Founded in 1969, Wanxiang Group Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, is China’s largest automotive components manufacturing company. It is also one of China’s largest financial enterprise, offering a full range of financial services, insurance, asset management, trust investment, financial leasing, futures brokerage, online payment, banking, financial big data etc. The company is also in agricultural engineering, clean energy and international trade. The company employs more than 12,000 employees in the United States and serves customers in the United States, Canada, Latin and South America, and Europe. It is based in Hangzhou, China. Here are websites for Wanxiang Group China and Wanxiang America.
Fisker’s Chinese owner says we should “truly believe” it can send all of the old company’s concept cars to production alongside the Karma, according to statements on its new website thenewfisker.com. The old website, fiskerautomotive.com, is still online but has been largely useless since the plug-in hybrid automaker killed production in 2012, fired three-quarters of […]
China’s Wanxiang sees opportunity in struggling U.S. cleantech
#SuryaRay #Surya “Cleantech is the new frontier for civilization,” Pin Ni, the President of Wanxiang America, told me in an interview this week. While Wanxiang might be an entirely unfamiliar name in the U.S., it’s one of China’s largest industrial parts companies with $13 billion in revenue and 45,000 employees. Wanxiang’s American division is sizable in its own right, with around $2.5 billion in revenue and 6,000 people.
Wanxiang has emerged as a company that has been making some really aggressive investments into U.S.-based cleantech startups, and the firm has invested in quite a few companies that had hit a wall financially. Most recently Wanxiang said it planned to invest up to $450 million into ailing lithium ion battery maker A123 Systems, which could eventually give Wanxiang 80 percent ownership.
A123 Systems, based in Waltham, Mass. has been bleeding cash for months, with weak sales and a battery recall for a line it produced for electric car maker Fisker Automotive. It was on the verge of being delisted from the Nasdaq. Ni described A123 Systems to me as one of the clear leaders in lithium ion battery manufacturing that has been facing significant financial challenges. Wanxiang will work to help A123 get “financially stabilized,” said Ni.
Wanxiang also invested $420 million into GreatPoint Energy, a company based in Cambridge, Mass. that converts coal into cleaner-burning natural gas. At the time that deal was described by the Wall Street Journal as “the largest ever by a Chinese corporation into a venture-capital-funded U.S. company.” GreatPoint Energy planned to use the money partly to build a large-scale plant in China to convert coal into natural.
But before Wanxiang’s investment, GreatPoint Energy’s technology had stalled in the U.S., partly because U.S. shale natural gas had emerged as so cheap plentiful. GreatPoint’s technology showed great promise, but “economically they were finished in the U.S. The shareholders had decided to not give the company any more money,” said Ni. However, in China, GreatPoint’s economics worked far better.
Ni told me for U.S. cleantech startups, Wanxiang can provide valuable resources like capital, management, and help with expanding into China. Wanxiang is involved in all types of clean technology, from electric cars, to solar, to wind farms, to batteries. Wanxiang invested in another struggling company electric car company Smith Electric Vehicles.
When I asked Ni if Wanxiang looks for undervalued, under performing, cleantech startups, he said, it probably only looks that way because of the few press releases about these companies. Wanxiang also invests in energy companies that are thriving, says Ni.
But the reality of cleantech is that “we’re not there yet in terms of technology and cost,” says Ni, “the industry needs a lot of support from governments and private companies. It’s not a viable business as of today.” However, Wanxiang and Ni don’t waver on the sector in the long term: “There’s no question we need to get there.”
Wanxiang’s investments in U.S. cleantech companies aren’t without controversy; particularly for companies that have gotten money from the U.S. government, and then are building products in China. A123 Systems received a $249 million matching grant from the Department of Energy to build its factory, which will now be mostly owned by the Chinese conglomerate.
Fisker Atlantic – This car was expected to be the answer to the Tesla Model 3 that still hasn’t made its way to production. As a plug-in hybrid model the Atlantic was supposed to be ready for 2012 and then every year since. Due to the bankruptcy in 2014 Fisker has been bought up by Wanxiang Group out of China.
Tesla (TSLA) to Face New Electric Car Competitor in Fisker
Tesla Motors, Inc. TSLA will soon face renewed competition from Fisker Automotive, which was once seen as a possible opponent before it became bankrupt in 2013. Fisker Automotive used to produce the luxury plug-in electric hybrid Karma, which sold nearly 2,500 units despite a steep price of $100,000. However, the vehicle had some issues in the battery, which resulted in a recall, leading to the company’s bankruptcy.
Thereafter, Fisker Automotive was acquired by China’s largest auto parts company, Wanxiang Group, for $149 million. The latter also acquired battery-maker A123, which was a supplier to Fisker Automotive, for $257 million.
Fisker Automotive has now signed an 11-year, $30 million lease for a large factory in Moreno Valley that will be used to produce plug-in electric hybrid vehicles. The company hopes to bring the vehicles to the market by mid-2016.
Is it a Threat to Tesla?
Fisker Automotive has several similarities with Tesla. Apart from being the producers of popular but niche luxury alternative-fuel vehicles, both companies aim to produce an affordable, mass-market electric vehicle. Tesla is developing the highly-anticipated Model 3, while Fisker Automotive was close to launching a lower-priced luxury hybrid when it went bankrupt.
Fisker Automotive has the advantage of entering a matured electric vehicle market, while Tesla had to create a market for its vehicles and even build a network of charging stations to attract buyers. However, the electric car market has not grown as rapidly as expected. People are still apprehensive about the range offered by such cars, while the absence of a global network of charging stations limits the market expansion of electric carmakers. The fall in gas prices has made matters worse.
Despite these negatives, Tesla has created a loyal customer base through its focus on providing the best products and service as well as improving already sold vehicles via free software updates. The company’s sales volume has been growing every quarter and is expected to rise further with the launch of the Model X later this quarter.
Fisker Automotive, on the other hand, will have to start from scratch and face the daunting task of trying to attract customers in the niche luxury alternative-fuel vehicle market in which Tesla is now a heavyweight.
Tesla currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked automobile stocks include Ford Motor Co. F, PACCAR Inc. PCAR and Harley-Davidson, Inc. HOG, all carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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Tesla purchased that entire 370-acre assembly site for less than twice the reported cost of Fisker’s 11-year lease; it now assembles cars in the 5.5 million-square-foot main building, with several additional buildings currently unused.
Proximity to Fisker’s Costa Mesa headquarters is expected to provide benefits, with the two being about 60 miles apart. Similarly, Tesla’s plant is 20 miles from its Palo Alto headquarters.
Fisker and the city of Moreno Valley expect the new factory to create 150 jobs initially.
California environmental regulations make the state less-than-hospitable for new manufacturing operations, but Fisker has said California’s commitment to electric cars made it an attractive choice.
Before its bankruptcy, all Karma sedans were assembled under contract by Valmet Automotive in Finland.
Fisker bought a former General Motors plant in Delaware in 2009, for a planned production expansion, but those plans were derailed by its collapse. The carmaker hasn’t announced the fate of this Delaware plant yet.