Fisker buys dormant GM plant

Oct 5, 2009

Fisker Automotive, Irvine, Calif., a maker of electric vehicles, looks to be in the final stages of negotiations with General Motors to buy an idled assembly plant in Wilmington, Del. Production is scheduled to begin in late 2012 on what the company calls Project NINA, its development and manufacturing of family-affordable vehicles.

Vice President Joe Biden, a former Delaware senator, and Delaware’s Gov. Jack Markell attended the announcement ceremony at the plant.

Company founder and CEO Henrik Fisker had said he was looking for a U.S. plant to build his electric hybrid vehicle (HEV) that is expected to retail for about $48,000, or $39,900 after federal tax credits. Fisker has a prototype of his upscale Karma HEV, which is planned to be built in Europe and have a retail price of $89,000.

If the Delaware plant deal comes to pass, Fisker Automotive indicates that it could build as many as 100,000 cars a year; more than half will be exported, the largest percentage of any domestic manufacturer. Upward of 1,500 people could be employed, as well as 3,000 vendor- and supplier-created jobs.

Fisker Automotive recently was awarded a $528.7 million conditional loan from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to build plug-in hybrid electric cars.