Despite rumors and speculation suggesting Fisker has changed plans to build the Atlantic in its Wilmington, Del. facility following a frozen Energy Department loan, the company is emphasizing it still aims to fulfill original production goals in place since 2009.
According to Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher, who spoke to us in a phone interview yesterday, “hypothetical” scenarios its representatives answered questions about were taken by some reporters to paint a picture beyond Fisker’s actual position to date.
“Delaware’s the first option, that’s where we’re going to try and make it,” Ormisher said.
He had to hedge it a little, as company CEO Tom LaSorda did go on record with a strong-sounding statement that “the whole plan has changed,” and while not denying it, Ormisher said present circumstances would make it illogical to build the extended-range EV anywhere else.
The Atlantic – shown this week at the New York Auto Show – has been reported as “90-percent” ready for production, but Ormisher indicated the amount of money now suspended and still under negotiation with the U.S Department of Energy is the only thing holding Atlantic production back.
“We’re ready to go when we close with the DOE,” Ormisher said adding the company has spent tens of millions already on refurbishing what was formerly General Motors’ Boxwood assembly plant. It reportedly needs a paint shop completed, but Ormisher said no major roadblocks were in place.
Further, Fisker has reportedly also built relations with Wilmington authorities and community leaders, plus, Ormisher noted the company has “already recycled around 14 million pounds of materials,” and having invested many dollars and much sweat, Ormisher noted that Fisker owns the plant outright.
So, to back out now over money would come with additional costs, Ormisher said, and he would not speculate about relocation to anywhere else, while adding the company intends to be an American manufacturer, and has no plans to build the Atlantic alongside the Karma in Finland.
Presently, the amount of money preventing Fisker from starting Delaware assembly, while not insubstantial, is also not earth shattering compared to the over $1 billion it has thus far garnered.
Ormisher confirmed the frozen DOE loan amounts to about $336 million hanging in the balance, and “that’s all we need,” he said, plus the company is also talking with private investors, and has done quite well of late.
As we recently reported, Fisker more than doubled initial goals for its latest D1 round of fundraising. It garnered $392 million in private investments when it had only set a target for $150 million, and now it says it is shooting for $500 million-plus.
Just in the past month, the company secured $130 million in private equity, Ormisher said, and has delivered over 700 Karmas to date, thus delivering product despite media-chronicled setbacks.
Ormisher confirmed LaSorda said the Atlantic will be built with or without DOE money, and clarified the company would entertain the option to change course later this year only if it found this was necessary.
But that is a road the company has yet to take, and for now, plans are the same as they have been albeit with some loose ends – about one-third of a billion dollars’ worth – yet shy from being all tied up. Whether resolution comes via the DOE or other channels, Ormisher emphasized Fisker’s attitude remains optimistic and it intends to make it happen.