Fisker Automotive announced today that it is opening a new, 34,000-sq-ft Engineering and Development Center in Pontiac, Michigan. This is great news for the struggling automotive state that has a dearth of newly jobless, skilled automotive professionals. Fisker’s 34,000 square-foot location is expected to employ only around 200 workers, with 130 jobs already spoken for as of today. This announcement comes days after their legal victory over Tesla. Tesla Motors accused Fisker Automotive of stealing confidential design information and trade secrets while Fisker was contracted to help in designing Tesla’s future cars. This move to Michigan also comes not long after Tesla announced they would be closing down their Rochester Hills office near Detroit.
“The available talent, supplier base, and infrastructure in Michigan will help us reach our production goal,” said Fisker Automotive COO Bernhard Koehler. “While Fisker Automotive will continue to be headquartered in Irvine, California, the new facility will allow us the opportunity to collaborate with our Michigan supplier base and have everyone under one roof.”
The 200 engineers and designers will work on the Fisker Karma, the company’s first vehicle. The Karma is a plug-in hybrid that will travel 50 miles on electricity alone and have a maximum range of 350 miles, with a 0-60 mph time under 6 sec and and a top speed of 125 mph. The car will go on sale at the end of 2009 in North America and later in Europe. Fisker hopes to be building 15,000 cars annually by 2011. Estimated pricetag is around $80,000.