By Timothy Cama - 05/19/14 10:24 AM EDT
Fisker Automotive Holdings Inc.’s new Chinese owner plans to build electric cars in the United States to compete against Tesla Motors Inc., its chairman said.
Wanxiang Group Corp., an auto component maker that bought bankrupt Fisker in February for $149.2 million, will introduce a new slate of vehicles in the U.S., and eventually in China as well, Bloomberg News reported.
Tesla Chief Executive Office Elon Musk also wants to sell cars in China following its success in the U.S., due largely to the luxury Model S.
Wanxiang’s purchase of Fisker included a former General Motors Co. plant in Delaware. That gives the company a leg up to other Chinese competitors who have tried to enter the U.S. market but have not been able to buy production facilities.
Wanxiang will also bring back production of the Karma, the only vehicle Fisker produced before its 2013 bankruptcy, Bloomberg said.
Fisker received a loan from the Energy Department but failed to completely pay it back after it struggled with battery problems, poor reviews and other issues. It led Republicans to sharply criticize the loan program for investing in unprofitable companies.
The Energy Department ultimately recovered $53 million of the $192 million loan.
Tesla received a similar loan, though it has paid it back entirely.