Fisker Automotive, which claims it will sell the first plug-in hybrid four door sports sedan from the fourth quarter of 2009, said on Tuesday Finland's Valmet Automotive will manufacture the car, called the Karma.

Valmet currently builds some Boxster and Cayman models but Porsche said recently this work would move to Magna Steyr in Austria from 2012.

The Karma will have 50 miles of electric range of about 350 in total and potential fuel economy of over 100 miles per gallon (MPG) on extended drives, according to Fisker. Claimed top speed is 125mph and 0-60mph acceleration is in under 6 seconds.

"After an exhaustive global search, we are thrilled to have found the ideal manufacturing partner in Valmet Automotive," said Fisker Automotive CEO, Henrik Fisker. "Valmet offers us the quality and speed necessary to meet our production goals and given that more than half of Fisker Automotive's sales are expected to be outside of North America, Valmet represents an ideal international foothold.

"We do have a strategic plan to [use] an American manufacturing site for future [Karma] models," he added.

Ilpo Korhonen, president of Valmet Automotive, said: "Our production process can be easily adapted to the production of electric and hybrid cars and new body designs.  In line with our renewed strategy, engineering will have a strong role in the cooperation."

European Karma sales are scheduled to start in 2010. Annual production is forecast at 15,000 cars, with over half sold overseas.