What do you do with an empty Porsche assembly line? If you're Finnish supplier Valmet Automotive, you offer to build the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid sedan in your own factory.
On July 15, Fisker Automotive proclaimed Valmet as the official engineering and manufacturing contractor for the Karma program. Not only will Valmet help ready the slinky conceptual design for production, but it may build the hybrid itself.
As a production engineering firm, Valmet has often lent major automakers a hand in assembling cars over the past forty years. The firm was involved in producing many vintage Saabs, but is perhaps best known for its work on the Porsche Boxster. The roadster has been manufactured at Valmet's factory in Uusikaupunki, Finland, since 1997.
Porsche's recent decision to shift Boxster production to Austrian contractor Steyr leaves Valmet's factory open to assemble the Karma. Fisker hopes to produce up to 15,000 cars each year, while Valmet's facility can handle nearly six times that figure.
A final contract between Fisker and Valmet will be signed within months, while production of the Karma is expected to begin in late 2009.