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Fisker to satisfy both ‘ego and conscience’

Automotive new-entrant Fisker is hoping to convince UK dealers of its potential as a greener alternative in the luxury and sports car markets.

The business was launched in America in 2007 but hasn’t yet put a car into production. At the Paris Motor Show it revealed its Karma hybrid-engined executive saloon, which will be built from March by contract manufacturer Valmet in Finland. Fisker says five more models will follow within five years.

Vic Doolan, its retail development director, told AM Fisker wants five or six dealerships in the UK. He said it is “very close to concluding arrangements in the UK” and would announce these by the end of the year. AM understands the partners will all be experienced in the prestige car market.

The first right-hand drive Fiskers will be developed from late 2012. “We believe the British market could be a great opportunity for us,” added Doolan, a former BMW and Volvo US executive. Fisker wants to appeal to premium car customers seeking individuality. It expects the emissions-based company car tax structure to make its plug-in hybrids even more attractive.

The Karma will compete with the likes of the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
“I think our cars can satisfy the ego and conscience at the same time,” he said.

Fisker’s retail plan will be “focused on process and people rather than bricks and mortar”, said Doolan. Showrooms won’t be large, because that doesn’t fit Fisker’s environmental philosophy. Customers will deal with a Fisker consultant, who will be their consistent point of contact whether for sales or service.

Doolan said Fisker could be selling 150,000 cars globally by the middle of the decade. In late 2012 it will begin making its mass-market Nina model.

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