Being the new automaker on the block is no easy task – just ask Aptera or the many other car projects that have failed over the years. Car making is one of those entrenched businesses that doesn’t make it easy for new companies to join. If you’re going to do it, try to be very exclusive – as in under 100 cars a year. That is the conventional wisdom anyway.
Tesla and Fisker have dispelled it somewhat, although not totally as their biggest projects are yet to debut. Most of the skepticism with these companies comes down to their ability to produce a profit – it is difficult to achieve the required margins. Fisker has learned this with the Karma. It was due years ago, with a price tag of around $80,000. Then came numerous delays, and a price hike to $87,900.
A bump to $95,900 followed, and now the company is announcing another hike, to $102,000 for the base model. In case you’re counting, thats an increase of $22,000 over the original quoted price.
Does the car take more time to build than thought, or are material prices are going up? It could be that Fisker wants to increase profit margins, or a combination of all three. Eco Chic, the top-line model, checks in at $116,000. The Karma is a luxury car, after all – Fisker thinks customers probably have the extra cash. It’ll be interesting to see if it impacts sales projections though. If you put a deposit down on the Karma before the announcement, you have until January 15th to pay up.
Wait past that date and you will have to pay the price hike just like everyone else. The Karma has endured spate of bad press due to the EPA rating being lower than first thought. Boy is it still a styling stunner though. Hopefully Fisker’s low cost “Project Nina” will go off without a hitch. Meanwhile, Tesla is preparing to launch its Model S next year. If executed right (and all indications appear that it will be), expect the Model S to steal a lot of the Karma’s thunder.