PHOTO CAPTION: Fisker Karma gets new grill and ICE-age V8 that gets less than 20 mpg as the reborn VL Destino.

Fisker Melodrama Continues As Bankruptcy Judge Authorizes Auction

While creditors ally to get some of their money back from failed Fisker Automotive, Bob Lutz is turning the Karma into a four-door Corvette.

Published: 12-Jan-2014

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross has decided that the best way to get the most money for Fisker Automotive's creditors is to auction off its assets, rather than allow a Hong Kong-led firm take control.

"I think that, for me, at the end of the case, whether or not the price paid was fair or reasonable, I think an auction will provide that mechanism. That is the most favored method," reports Reuters.

This opens up the bidding to the US-based arm of Chinese autoparts giant Wanxiang Group, which last year bought control of another bankrupt US company, A123 Technologies, makers of advanced lithium-ion batteries. Notes the Reuter's story:

"Wanxiang America, headquartered in Elgin, Illinois, operates 27 manufacturing plants in 13 states and employs approximately 6,000 U.S. workers, according to court documents."

When it appeared that the group led by Richard Li, the scion of a Hong Kong billionaire, was going to walk off with the company after paying the US federal government $25 million to buy the $168 million defaulted loan, creditors joined forces with Wanxiang to block the sale. Li and his group will now have to bid at auction of Fisker's assets, along with everyone else.

The auction could take place as early as February.

Meanwhile, Britain's Daily Telegraph is reporting that former GM vice-chairman Bob Lutz, who also expressed interest in acquiring Fisker, is reportedly buying up all the Karma's he can get his hands on through a new venture called VL Destino. The company has redesigned the Karma's grill and will replace its electric hybrid drive system with a Corvette V8 engine. Pricing is expected to be around $200,000.

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Speaking to the Economic Club of Chicago during the Chicago Auto Show says that relaunch of Karma production 'soon.'

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Craig Cole recounts the travails of Fisker Automotive and its search for a new lease on life.


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