Mar 08

Automotive News reports:

DETROIT (Reuters) — A $100,000-plus Fisker Automotive luxury car died during Consumer Reports speed testing for reasons that are still unknown, leaving the struggling electric car startup with another blow to its image.

“It is a little disconcerting that you pay that amount of money for a car and it lasts basically 180 miles before going wrong,” David Champion, senior director for the magazine’s automotive test center, told Reuters.

Fisker has benefited from the publicity generated when actor Leonardo DiCaprio was handed the first Karma last summer and pop idol Justin Bieber received one as a gift this month.

The breakdown of the Consumer Reports car is more bad news for a company that already recalled some Karmas. Fisker also has changed its CEO and halted production over the past month as it seeks to renegotiate the terms of a $529 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy.

One of Fisker Automotive’s primary financial backers is venture captital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, of which Al Gore is a partner.  Fisker also received a $528.7 million conditional loan from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technologies Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program.  That’s a LOT of money to produce only 200-300 cars thus far, some of which seem to  be lemons.

This is the same company that last year caught flak because after it secured the US government financing, started assembling their cars in – Finland.

By the looks of things, Fisker Automotive seems headed for the same fate as Solyndra.

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