It is no secret that the Chinese are desperately trying to make up for their lack of technological infrastructure. However, the development of this infrastructure is costly and time consuming. So they ask, who has spent more money and time to develop technology than anyone else? The US. They have spent trillions of tax payer and private equity funds to develop new technology ranging from military to consumer products.
So it is with no surprise that Dongfeng Motor Corp. and Geely Autombile Holdings Ltd. are negotiating an interest in Fisker’s current situation. Fisker has had a tough time in the auto industry and is finally feeling stranded for cash. With almost all of the ‘electric car’ spotlight on Tesla Motors, Fisker has been a struggling auto manufacturer (with bad luck) trying to stay afloat in the background. So it seems Geely is the preferred suitor, shame.
Fisker ‘basically’ has two choices for cash, Dongfeng or Geely. In order for China to continue forward their automotive industry, it’s unfortunate only one of them must be the winning bidder. Geely has already sent a team of engineers to Anaheim (where Fisker is based) to evaluate Fisker and its technology for battery-powered electric cars with a small gasoline engine used to extend the car’s driving range. This shows you where the Chinese are headed for the auto industry, hybrid cars. What is the quickest way to achieve this? Acquiring a bankrupt electric car manufacturer who has done all the home work for you.
However, some may be worried as the recent purchase of A123 Systems LLC by Wanxiang Group Corporation generated quite a lot of media attention. The general message was, “As a result, America stands on the brink of providing the communist nation with ten years of American technological advances they have been unable to achieve on their own.” from here. Well done guys, it’s a shame you haven’t noticed that China has been doing this for years, not only confined to US businesses but several other major industries and *hint* natural resources as well. The major problem with the A123 Systems purchase was military technology, in the case of Fisker’s, there is not this issue (to my knowledge).
Looking at the ‘big picture’, the successful purchase of Fisker by either Dongfeng or Geely won’t make much of a difference in the end. The ‘big four’ Chinese auto manufacturers will need as much assistance as possible (in all forms) in order to be truly competitive on the world stage. It’s unfortunate how big GM & Ford have allowed to become, with alot of data to support the disservice GM & Ford have done to the auto industry. Allowing some of these Chinese auto manufacturers a leg up in to the industry wouldn’t hurt any of the consumers, it would only affect external groups directly interested in GM & Ford (and vice-versa). Should it not be more acceptable that the obvious socialist structure of GM (Government Motors) be the same as the Chinese ‘big four’ being partly state-owned? That could be for another day.
On the flip side, could we see a possible investment from a private equity group? but the question would be, what would Fisker be ‘worth’ to you? Anyone thought about Bob Lutz? Yes, Bob, that guy that was featured in the film Revenge of the Electric Car? as GM’s VP, the guy that smokes cigars, hunts on the weekends (speculated), gets driven around in Escalades (hybrids), has Barack Obama round for Sunday brunch (joke, or not). Yes, Bob Lutz, the true American the whole world aspires to be. And why do I bring him up? Because of these guys, VL Automotive.
But wait, isn’t that a Fisker Karma? no. VL Automotive has taken the Fisker karma and kept everything except for the “electric car” part. What have they replaced it with? the exquisitely hand-crafted GM LS9 engine. Yes, that supercharged 6.2L V8 engine found under the hood of the ZR1 & ZL1, it’s rated at 638hp & 608 lb-ft torque, oh and it’s one of the few engines that truly go vroom vroom. What more can one ask for? and the best thing? It’s would be truly all american.
Would it not be great to see small sustainable manufacturers develop again? Deja-vu anyone?