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Fisker Relocating Michigan Operations to California

Maker to close R&D center in suburban Detroit.

by on Feb.04, 2010

Henrik Fisker with his plug-in hybrid, the $87,900 Karma, which is set for a debut later this year.

Start-up plug-in hybrid manufacturer Fisker Automotive will close its suburban Detroit development center and consolidate design, engineering and other operations at the company’s Southern California headquarters, has learned.

The move will make it easier for the company to move forward by having all key corporate operations collocated under one roof, Fisker contends, but it does come as a small but measurable setback for Michigan, which has been struggling to hang onto its automotive job base.

Less than 30 Fisker staff jobs will be impacted by the move, said a company official, and all are being offered the opportunity to relocate to Irvine, the Los Angeles suburb where Fisker is based.  A separate source said it is not clear how many employees will accept the transfer, despite the bleak job situation in Detroit.

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Fisker’s Michigan facility, in the suburb of Pontiac, had been set up to allow company designers and engineers to work alongside counterparts from the various suppliers helping develop the automaker’s new products.  The first of those models, the plug-in luxury sports car, the Fisker Karma, will go into production within the next year.