WILMINGTON, DE-Fisker Automotive, a privately owned American automotive company, has selected the Wilmington Assembly plant in Wilmington, DE, for use in the manufacture of plug-in hybrid cars.
Fisker executives made the announcement inside the dormant facility, joined by Vice President Joe Biden, Delaware Governor Jack Markell and other state officials.
The plant will support Fisker Automotive’s Project NINA, the development and build of an affordable, family-oriented plug-in hybrid sedan costing about $39,900 after federal tax credits.
Production is scheduled to begin in late 2012. Fisker Automotive anticipates Project NINA will ultimately create or support 2,000 factory jobs and more than 3,000 vendor and supplier jobs by 2014, as production ramps up to full capacity of 75,000-100,000 vehicles per year. More than half will be exported, the largest percentage of any domestic manufacturer.
The modernized Wilmington Assembly plant was selected for its size, production capacity, world-class paint facilities, access to shipping ports, rail lines and available skilled workforce.
“This is a major step toward establishing America as a leader of advanced vehicle technology," says Henrik Fisker, chief executive officer. "Wilmington is perfect for high quality, low volume production and will soon be the proud builder of world-class, fuel-efficient Fisker plug-in hybrids."
Fisker Automotive has signed a letter of intent with Motors Liquidation Co. (MLC), formerly known as General Motors Corp. to purchase the Wilmington plant for $18 million after a routine four-month evaluation period.
An additional $175 million will be spent to refurbish and retool the factory during the next three years.
Funds will come from a conditional loan of $528.7 million the Department of Energy awarded the company in September.
The loan is part of the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program (ATVM) appropriated by Congress in 2007 to help the United States lead in the development and manufacturing of advanced technology vehicles.
The company's first car, the Fisker Karma, will be the world's first production plug-in hybrid when it goes on sale this summer at retailers in the U.S. and Europe.
Fisker plug-in hybrid cars will help remove the country's dependence on foreign energy by eliminating the need for 42 million barrels of oil by 2016. They will also offset 8 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
For more information, visitwww.fiskerautomotive.com.