Fisker Automotive will begin hiring workers for its Wilmington, Delaware assembly plant in July, the company announced today.
The California-based start-up automaker purchased the facility from Motors Liquidation Corp, better known as “Old GM,” last year for $18 million dollars. At the time of the purchase, Fisker said that it would use a $528.7 million dollar loan from the federal government, along with an additional $175 million dollars in private investment to refurbish the facility to build a lineup of compact luxury plug-in hybrid cars, known as Project Nina, starting in late 2012.
Fisker’s first vehicle, the $95,900 Karma luxury sports sedan, is set to go on sale in the United States in the third quarter of this year, after having its launch date pushed back from the spring. The first generation Karma will be assembled in Finland by automotive supplier Valmet. It uses a plug-in hybrid system, similar in concept to the one in the Chevrolet Volt, that delivers 50 miles of all-electric propulsion, and unlimited range via a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that generates electricity when the main battery charge has depleted.
The initial round of hiring for the Delaware plant will involve 40 employees in the engineering and electro-mechanical fields this summer, with 80 production workers being brought on board in the fall. Advertisements for the positions will be posted this weekend. Company executives have previously said that they expect to create 2,000 jobs at the facility and an additional 3,000 supplier jobs by 2014 when production reaches its full output of between 75,000 and 100,000 vehicles per year, half of those set for export.
Details on Project Nina are still under wraps, but at an event announcing the purchase of the Delaware plant in January, 2010, Vice President Joe Biden said that images he was shown looked like a “four-door Ferrari.” He went on to inadvertently reveal the company’s plans to build a full lineup of sedans, coupes and crossovers on the Project Nina platform.