Fisker says $30 million in luxury cars destroyed by Sandy in NJ port

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 06, 2012 8:07 PM

DETROIT (Reuters) - Green car startup Fisker Automotive lost more than $30 million worth of luxury cars when a shipment of Karma plug-in hybrids was flooded during Superstorm Sandy last week.

More than 300 Karma cars, which each start around $100,000, were destroyed at a New Jersey port during the storm, Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher said on Tuesday.

The cars were insured and Fisker expects "no impact from a business or a financial point of view," he said, adding that Fisker does not expect any problems with meeting U.S. demand.

The 300 Karma plug-in hybrids were among the more than 10,000 vehicles damaged during the storm at Port Newark, Ormisher said, citing details he received from port officials.

The other affected automakers include Toyota Motor Corp, which lost 4,500 cars at the port, said Jim Appleton, head of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, which represents more than 500 auto dealers.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Toyota, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Wall Street Journal first reported the loss of the Karma shipment.

Nearly 1 million households and business along the U.S. East Coast remain without power eight days after Sandy hit the region, toppling power lines and flooding areas. New Jersey remains the hardest-hit state.

The 300 Karma cars destroyed by last week's floods were to be sent to U.S. dealers. Among them were 16 cars that burned during the storm after one car caught fire when seawater caused a short circuit. Heavy winds spread the fire to 15 other cars.

The news is another setback for Fisker, which has faced several quality and financial setbacks this year. In August, Fisker recalled 2,400 Karma hybrids in August to fix a faulty cooling fan that triggered a vehicle fire.

(Reporting By Deepa Seetharaman in Detroit and Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr)