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Fisker CEO Still Aiming to Make Plug-in Cars in Delaware

Fisker Automotive Inc.’s new chief executive officer said the plug-in hybrid carmaker still plans to build rechargeable autos at a Delaware plant that stalled when the Energy Department blocked a loan for the project.

The closely held company, which last week said it raised more than $100 million from private investors, continues to work out plans to produce its second model, the Atlantic, at the Wilmington, Delaware, facility, Tony Posawatz said in a phone interview today. Posawatz joined Anaheim, California-based Fisker in August after retiring from General Motors Co. (GM), where he led development of the rechargeable Chevrolet Volt sedan.

“The intent and plan is to utilize that Delaware facility and build cars there in the future,” Posawatz said. Issues that led regulators to suspend access to a loan to refurbish and equip the factory have been resolved, and “at an appropriate time we will revisit the discussion with them of the possibility of accessing the remainder of the loan,” he said.

Fisker’s goal of becoming profitable from its $103,000 Karma sedan, which goes about 40 miles (64 kilometers) on battery power before a gasoline engine kicks in, has been challenged by initial delivery delays, tight funds and technical failures that led to recalls of flawed lithium-ion battery packs and cooling fans.

Consumer Reports last month criticized the luxury car, declining to recommend it because of cabin noise, interior design and reliability concerns.
Flaws Addressed

Early flaws have been addressed and the company is working on enhancements for a second-generation Karma, Posawatz said.
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