Lu Guanqiu, chairman of supplier Wanxiang Group told reporters at a July 25 conference in Washington about his plans to revive Fisker Automotive Holdings Inc, whose former General Motors assembly plant is in Delaware.
In February, Lu won and auction for Fisker, paying $149.2 million for the assets of the bankrupt producer of plug-in hybrid cars. He is now visiting U.S. to raise his company’s profile with key politicians and get support for the turnaround plan, a quite ambitious one. He needs to manage the many engineering kinks in the Fisker Karma in order to bring the plug-in hybrid back to life.
On his U.S. visit, Lu met Michigan Governor Rick Snyderat at the headquarter of A123 Systems Inc in Detroit, then the Delaware Gov. Jack Markell at the home of the shuttered Wilmington assembly plant that might one say produce Fisker cars. The most important meeting seemed to be the one with U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, to whom he explained the Wanxiang’s plans for Fisker Cars – A123 batteries, the Wilmington plant and the entire North American market.
Wanxiang has $23.5 billion in global sales annually, a large part of it being represented by sales of auto parts. In the United States, Wanxiang has acquired a chain of suppliers that produce axles, bearings, riveshafts and other components. Wanxiang America said the company generated $3 billion revenue from auto parts. Despite this, the firm stays relatively unknown, but things could change if Lu, who is not accustomed to failure, gets his way.
By Gabriela Florea