Irvine, California – Fisker Automotive has appointed its first group of North American retailers to market and service its luxury plug-in hybrid vehicles. The company said that 32 retailers have confirmed their intent to carry the Fisker brand.

The number puts the carmaker close to its goal of having 40 locations across the U.S. by the end of June 2009. The company will launch its Karma sedan later this year, priced at US$87,900, and with an equivalent capability of 100 m.p.g. (2.35 L/100 km).

The company’s retail network has been developed by Vic Doolan, who worked with BMW North America and Volvo Cars North America in the 1990s and 2000s. “Our retail partners are our most important assets,” he said. “To our customers, they are the face of the company. For that reason, we’ve chosen those who will give Fisker owners the comfort and confidence to drive the future.”

The company said that it is able to attract new franchises in tough economic times by keeping startup costs low and not requiring floor planning beyond demonstrator and display cars. The showroom architecture calls for natural and sustainable materials such as wood and textiles, and an available solar-powered carport will keep demonstrator vehicles clean, dry, fully charged and ready to go.

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