US: Fisker lowers its forecast again
Fisker Automotive has lowered its sales projections for the second time, saying that the rollout of its luxury electric cars in the US and Europe had slowed down due to regulatory hurdles.
It now expects to sell around 10,000 Karma models this year, down from a 12,000 forecast in November – a projection which had already been adjusted down from an original target of 15,000.
The company said it was slower than expected getting into the US and European markets because of mileage and emissions certification processes.
The Karma is the first production vehicle for the carmaker that was founded in 2007 by Henrik Fisker, a former Aston Martin and BMW designer. Delays in rolling out the model have increased scrutiny of the privately held company, which received a US$529m federal loan. Its battery supplier, A123 Systems, issued a sales warning last week.
Fisker halted sales of the Karma for four days this month to fix a software glitch that at times caused warning lights to come on as well as a temporary freezing of the vehicles' navigation systems.
One customer has already filed a formal complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that appeared to be related to the software issue. The car was said to have shut itself off, the brakes failed, all the lights on the dash lit up and the steering was impaired.
The NHTSA said it would monitor the latest issue but had no plans to open an investigation.
The company said it had not been contacted about the complaint but added that it appeared to be related to the software malfunction. Last month Fisker was forced to recall 239 of its plug-in hybrid cars in the US due to a possible defect that could lead to a leak of coolant fluid and possibly an electrical short circuit.
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