DETROIT -- Fisker Automotives first car has a lot of Europe in it.
The US-based automakers top two executives are from Europe and worked for European brands before founding the company in 2007.
In addition, the Karma plug-in hybrids suppliers include Frances Valeo and Michelin, German engineering firm EDAG and Finnish contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive, which plans to start producing the luxury sedan in the fourth quarter. Sales are scheduled to start in Europe, North America and Asia in 2010.
We were close to selecting Magna for the final assembly, but then we visited Valmet in Finland, Fisker Chief Operating Officer Bernhard Koehler told Automotive News Europe at the auto show here last month. We found excellent quality, good flexibility and the price point was right.
Valmet also will produce Fiskers convertible version of the car, the Karma S (for Sunset). Sales are due to start in 2011.
Valmet assembles the Porsche Boxster and Cayman. That contract expires in 2012, at which time the cars will move to rival Magna Steyrs plant in Graz, Austria. Magna Steyr is part of megasupplier Magna International of Canada.
Another part of the Magna family, Magna Intier, supplies the Karmas interior.
Valmet spokeswoman Teija Aahlman is confident the companys plant can handle the overlap between the Porsche and Fisker models.
We have plenty of space and capacity, and we are well known for rapid production startups, she said.
All manufacturing operations from the welding of the spaceframe to the assembly of the doors, hood, mechanical components and interiors will be done by Valmet, as will painting, battery installation, final assembly and testing.