PHOTO CAPTION: Billionaire Lu Guanqiu is a former blacksmith's apprentice.

Wanxiang Bids for Fisker, Looks to Extend Ties to Tesla

Wanxiang America's founder Lu Guanqiu pledges that if his company wins the big for Fisker Automotive, he will shift production to USA.

Published: 23-Jan-2014

HANGZHOU/BEIJING - Billionaire Lu Guanqiu, a former blacksmith's apprentice who built China's biggest auto parts company, says he has an edge over a rival bid for bankrupt U.S. plug-in hybrid car maker Fisker Automotive, and would welcome ties with Tesla Motors Inc , another U.S. electric car maker.

"We have support from Fisker's creditors, we have support from the local government, and we have a track record of 20 years of responsible investment in the United States," Lu told Reuters in an interview at the headquarters of his Wanxiang Group in China's eastern city of Hangzhou. "These are our advantages. The bid is not just about who pays more."

Wanxiang America will square off with Richard Li, a son of Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, at a February 12 auction for Fisker, a failed rival to Tesla in electric cars. California-based Fisker, backed by U.S. taxpayer money, stopped making its sleek, Karma sports car in 2012 and filed for bankruptcy protection in November last year.


Fisker Karma is assembled in Finland, but has been plagued early-on by quality issues.

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

Fisker Karma has been plagued by early start-up problems and is looking for additional investors, at least one said to be in China.

From promising Boston Power to struggling Fisker Automotive, Chinese firms are acquiring control of US, as well as, European firms pioneering advanced automotive technologies.

If style were the only measure, the Fisker Karma should be a success.

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


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