Wanxiang to Rebrand Fisker as Elux in 2016

Feb 23, 2015 05:00 PM EST | Matt Mercuro

Chinese automaker Wanxiang Group is planning on pushing back the relaunch of its defunct Fisker Karma hybrid sports cars until around mid-2016 and rebrand Fisker Automotive as Elux.

Wanxiang, which purchased the assets of California-based Fisker Automotive in 2014 during a U.S. bankruptcy auction, said at the time it wanted to revive the Karma sometime this year.

The revised Karma will now be named Elux Karma and the Fisker name will be dropped completely, Reuters reported citing sources who "asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak for Wanxiang."

The revived-electric vehicle won't be manufactured in Finland as Wanxiang previously planned. The company has not finalized a production site yet.

The Karma will be available around $135,000, or nearly 20 percent higher than the final price of the original Karma, which hasn't been made since 2012, according to Reuters.

At one point Fisker Automotive was a rival of Tesla Motors, but since the backing of the U.S. government and private investors, the company failed six year after launching in 2007.

Fisker was co-founded by designer Henrik Fisker, who created popular sports vehicles like the Aston Martin DB9 and the BMW Z8. There is a good chance the new vehicle will look a lot like the first Karma, though nothing has been confirmed officially yet.

The sources confirmed to Reuters that Wanxiang is willing to spend "millions" on updating the vehicle's hardware to make it more competitive with newer models. This is a good sign considering most of it dates back seven years.

One of the questions that still remains is whether and how much Wanxiang will revise the vehicle's battery pack, which was developed and supplied by A123 Systems. The battery maker was purchased by Wanxiang after going bankrupt.

Stay tuned as more information regarding the Elux Karma gets released. 

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