Fisker to Buy Delaware GM Plant for Plug-In Hybrid Production

Nov 2 2009 | 9:22am ET

Fisker Automotive will pay $18 million for a former General Motors assembly plant in Wilmington, Delaware, and spend an additional $175 million over the next three years to refurbish and retool the factory for the production of plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Funding for the deal will from a conditional loan of $528.7 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).

The plant will support Fisker Automotive’s Project NINA, the development and assembly of an affordable, family-oriented, plug-in hybrid sedan carrying a price tag of about $39,900 after federal tax credits.

Production is scheduled to begin in late 2012. Fisker Automotive anticipates Project NINA will ultimately create or support 2,000 factory jobs and more than 3,000 vendor and supplier jobs by 2014, as production ramps up to full capacity of 75,000-100,000 vehicles per year. More than half will be exported, the largest percentage of any domestic manufacturer.

The modernized Wilmington plant was selected for its size, production capacity, world-class paint facilities, access to shipping ports, rail lines and available skilled workforce. The plant, built by General Motors in 1947, has been expanded over the years to 3.2 million square feet on 142 acres of land. It includes an on-site powerhouse and waste water treatment facility. Production capacity is 300,000 cars per year.

“This is a major step toward establishing America as a leader of advanced vehicle technology,” said Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker. “Wilmington is perfect for high-quality, low-volume production and will soon be the proud builder of world-class, fuel-efficient Fisker plug-in hybrids.”

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