Impact: Fisker may never build vehicles in U.S. image

Fisker Automotive, Inc., the U.S. based automaker that was financed by the U.S. government continues to signal it could ditch plans to build its next generation hybrid electric vehicle in the United States.

As Fisker’s spokesman Roger Ormisher told us earlier this month, the Karma placed as the second-highest seller in the tiny Netherlands luxury sedan market, and this is an indicator of broader European potential.

The company is repeating the message more clearly now that it expects more European market share expansion for its low-emissions Karma as it also looks to plant a foothold in the Middle East.

Fisker had drawn down about $193 million when it said in February access to the funds had been suspended. Remaining funds were to go to develop a $50,000 sedan, called the Atlantic, at a former General Motors factory in Wilmington, Delaware. Work on the Atlantic was suspended in February (update: Atlantic will hit the market in 2014 – the vehicle was introduced last month at the New York International Auto Show).

Last month, two U.S. senators have asked the Obama administration to explain why it approved a $529 million loan to startup Fisker Automotive, which has suspended U.S. production of a heavily touted plug-in electric car as it revamps its business plan.

The questions come in the wake of the administration’s failed $535 million investment in solar panel maker Solyndra. The company’s collapse, bankruptcy and raid by FBI agents generated a litany of questions about how the Energy Department doles out billions in highly sought after green energy seed money.

Fisker builds the Karma plug-in hybrid luxury sports sedan at Valmet Automotive in Finland.