Orange County Business Journal

Fisker to Hire Hundreds in Anaheim, Delaware

Chris Casacchia Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Anaheim-based luxury hybrid auto developer Fisker Automotive Inc. said Wednesday it plans to hire 220 employees here and at its new Delaware plant by the end of the year, and spurring several hundred more through its supply chain.

The company expects to add 100 employees in Anaheim and 120 in Delaware. It also expects supplier to hire some 300 workers as it prepares to launch its second model, the mid-range Nina sedan.

The positions include engineers, electro-mechanical technicians and production workers.

Last year, Fisker bought the 3.2 million-square-foot Wilmington Assembly plant in Delaware for $20 million in General Motors Co.’s bankruptcy.

General Motors shut down production at the plant in 2009.

Fisker plans to spend $175 million to retool the plant and start production in late 2012 on the Nina, one of two cars it plans to produce there. The last few months have been spent clearing out the plant and collecting some 11 million pounds of iron, steel, wood and aluminum that will be reused or recycled, according to company officials.

The initial models of its highly-touted luxury sedan Karma were expected to be delivered to showrooms and individual customers this month but ran into some delays.

The first cars off the assembly line were initially expected to be shipped in June to about 40 dealers in the U.S. and Europe in a simultaneous launch, officials said.

Deliveries are expected this summer, but a firm date has not been set.

Irvine-based Shelly Automotive Group is among the Fisker dealers.

The Karma is being produced on a contract basis in Finland and has about 3,000 orders on backlog.

Fisker is among the county’s most watched startups.

With investor financing and government money, Fisker has raised more than $1 billion to develop luxury cars that run on rechargeable batteries with backup gas engines.

Many see the company as the top local prospect for an initial public offering this year.