In the gloomy basement cafeteria of New York’s Jacob Javits Center, Henrik Fisker is choking down a chicken sandwich and imagining a new kind of American car company. Almost everything is outsourced–engineering, components, the electric power train, manufacturing. No messy work rules to worry about, no postretirement health care. Only design and marketing remain in-house. ”It’s a great time to launch a new car company like ours,” he says, speaking at April’s New York Auto Show, which was drowning in obituaries for the car business. ”We have a different business model.” If you were a semiconductor executive, you’d call this a fabless car company.
Handsome, blond and draped in Armani, the 45-year-old Fisker, a celebrated car designer, is chief executive of Fisker Automotive, headquartered 1,970 miles away from Detroit in Irvine, Calif. His two-year-old company, backed by not quite $200 million in venture capital from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Palo Alto Investors and the Qatar Investment Authority, begins production in November of the 100mpg Fisker Karma, an $88,000 plug-in hybrid sports sedan. Fisker expects to sell 15,000 Karmas a year, including a convertible due in 2011. He has presold 1,300 so far.
[Source: Forbes ]