Fisker's Secret Sauce: Outsource Everything

henrik fiskerdown tbi

Henrik Fisker told us earlier this year that his $90,000 plug-in hybrid, the Karma will be profitable. We asked him how Fisker was able to make his car profitable, but Fisker said he wanted to protect his company’s business plan.

Well, CNET got it out him. It looks like the plan is pretty simple. Buy the parts for the car from everybody else:

This hybrid system, called Q-Drive, uses two rear-drive motors, a lithium ion battery pack that runs longitudinally down the centre of the car, and a gasoline engine as a range extender under the hood. The Q-Drive produces 400 horsepower and has already undergone significant testing by Quantum Technologies.

Fisker Automotive isn’t building the engine, either, instead purchasing it from GM. It’s a turbocharged four-cylinder currently being used in the Pontiac Solstice GXP. The battery pack will come from Enerdel, and the Karma will be built on a contract basis by the Finnish company, Valmet. Having another company actually build the cars might seem questionable, but Valmet already proved itself as a contract builder with the Porsche Boxster and Cayman.

Seperately Fisker tells Hybrid Cars that “At 5,000 sales, we can make money.”

While it might not sound impressive that such an expensive car could be profitable, keep in mind that until recently, Tesla’s Roadster cost $140,000 to build and the company was selling it for less than $100,000. Even now Tesla says it’s reduced the material costs of the car to $80,000, which is presumably more than Fisker will need to pay.

Of course, you can buy a Tesla Roadster today. The Fisker Karma won’t be avaiable for another year. A lot can change between now and then.

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