Orange County Business Journal

Fisker, DiCaprio Join on Environmental Campaign

Chris Casacchia Thursday, July 5, 2012

Anaheim-based Fisker Automotive Inc. has partnered with Leonardo DiCaprio to promote global environmental sustainability.

DiCaprio, an equity investor in the luxury hybrid automaker, will make some presentations on behalf of Fisker to boost adoption of alternative fuel vehicles.

He’ll also work on marketing and promotional initiatives to increase environmental awareness.

Fisker, in turn, will support the charitable work of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. The foundation works on a variety of global environmental and humanitarian causes, including wildlife protection, forest preservation, healthy oceans, water access, disaster relief and climate change.

DiCaprio received the first Fisker Karma luxury sedan off the production line a year ago.

Since then the company has delivered more than 1,000 Karmas, which feature an advanced power train that combines an electric motor with a gas-powered engine with a base price of $103,000.

The car has received industry plaudits and design awards, but the company has come under fire from some politicians bemoaning government subsidies to the clean technology sector after it missed sales and production goals tied to its $529 million loan from the U.S. Energy Department.

Fisker has received $193 million of the loan, according to the company, with the remaining $336 million subject to renegotiation.

Last week the company launched its U.S. advertising campaign in the Wall Street Journal.

The full-page ad began with the phrase “new isn’t easy”—the name of the new campaign—and featured an aerial shot of the Karma sedan. The quarter-page ads included customer testimonials.

A global campaign is expected to launch in the fall.

The campaign comes as the automaker expands its dealer network, which stands at 80.

Penske Automotive Group of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., last month opened Fisker of Scottsdale in Arizona. That followed the opening of Fisker Montreal, the company’s first dealer in Quebec and fourth in Canada.