With failed hybrid carmaker Fisker in one corner, and battery maker A123 Systems in the other, China’s Wanxiang is poised to take on Tesla. For Wanxiang’s CEO Lu Guanqiu though, this is about more than business, it’s about a lifelong dream that may play out over generations.
But as Forbes reports, Wanxiang is going to fight Tesla using the same tactics as Elon Musk. Mr. Lu will be starting his electric car ambitions in America before coming home to China, which is expected to be the largest market for EVs by 2020. With Tesla’s roll out of the Model S in China running into roadblocks that include a lack of charging infrastructure and customers irate over delivery delays. It’s far from the smooth rollout that Tesla had in Europe, and it will take years to cover the country in Superchargers the way America is now connected.
That leaves the door open for Wanxiang to restart Fisker production at a factory in Delaware, bringing the brand back to life here in the U.S. Once production is restarted, development of the Fisker Atlantic can be finished and the cheaper plug-in hybrid can be brought to market.
The next step? Take Fisker (or whatever it ends up being called) to China, where sales of electric and plug-in cars are expected to explode. Tesla has done the same thing, though Wanxiang’s CEO seems determined to make-it-or-break-it, saying he will spend “every cent” into making electric cars. Could the Fisker Karma and Atlantic end up as electric cars instead of hybrids?
With the plan to relaunch the brand within the next year, we don’t have long to wait.