Luxury Electric Cars (Not Tesla) to Roll Off U.S. Production Lines

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Just shy of two years after it declared bankruptcy, Fisker Automotive is up and running again, with plans to open a new manufacturing facility in Southern California.

Fisker will build its plug-in electric hybrid luxury cars in a 555,000-square-foot auto plant in Moreno Valley, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The luxury car company, now owned by Chinese auto parts giant Wanxiang Group, recently signed a long-term $30 million lease for the facility, making it the first auto plant to call Southern California home in nearly a quarter century, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports.

Wanxiang Group also owns the company that builds the batteries that power Fisker vehicles.

Mike Lee, Moreno Valley’s community and economic development director, told the Journal he’s excited about Fisker’s new auto plant and the 150 jobs it will bring to the area.

“It’s a whole new industry we don’t have in Southern California,” Lee said. “We have the labor pool they’re looking for and the affordable land.”

Fisker will become the second electric-car manufacturing plant to call California home. Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors plant is located in Fremont.

Fisker Automotive, which was founded by Henrik Fisker in 2007 in Anaheim, California, previously sold the $100,000 luxury-hybrid Karma cars before it filed for bankruptcy in 2013, the Journal said.

Malfunctions in the Karma’s batteries led to product recalls that ended up bankrupting its battery maker, damaging the standing of Fisker and halting vehicle production in the process, according to the LAT.

Fewer than 2,500 cars had been sold before Fisker was forced to declare bankruptcy. Fisker resigned as executive chairman in the aftermath, and the LAT said there’s no word yet on what involvement, if any, Fisker would have with the new car plant.

Fisker hopes to begin selling vehicles as soon as next year, the LAT said. It could be a boon to the alternative auto market.

“Formerly seen as a possible rival to Northern California’s Tesla, Fisker Automotive re-enters a matured electric vehicle market,” the LAT said. “The once-struggling Tesla now produces 50,000 of its Model S electric luxury cars annually, and continues to promise delivery of a mass-market electric sedan within two years.”

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