The U.S. Department of Energy has approved a $528.7-million funding package for Fisker Automotive. Granted under provisions of the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program, a portion of the monies will be used to help underwrite the engineering integration costs of the firm's luxurious Karma plug-in hybrid sedan and convertible models which are slated to begin production late this year in Finland at a plant operated by specialty constructor Valmet. However, the lion's share of the DOE loan secured by designer and nascent automaker Henrik Fisker is destined to go towards refurbishing the currently-dormant GM Boxwood Plant in Wilmington, Delaware, to prepare it to serve as the manufacturing facility for a more affordable mid-size plug-in sedan currently dubbed Project Nina. Set to hit the market in 2012, Fisker plans to turn out some 5,000 units of this sub-$40K "family-oriented" model when the Wilmington plant is fully up to speed, sometime in 2015.
Fisker Automotive spokesman Russell Datz called approval of the DOE loan "a big step forward for Fisker Automotive. It allows us to maintain development and production schedules that will put many Americans to work building world-class, advanced technology cars."