November 16, 2010 / 10:29 PM / 9 years ago

Fisker finalizing China sales deal

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fisker Automotive, the start-up electric car designer, is negotiating a deal to sell its luxury, plug-in Karma model through a distributor in China, Chief Executive Henrik Fisker said on Tuesday.

“We’re going into China in the second half of next year. We’re already finalizing negotiations with a major Chinese distributor,” Fisker told the Reuters Autos Summit in Los Angeles.

Fisker also said that he had some discussions with larger automakers about a “strategic partnership.”

He did not name the other companies involved in those discussions, but said he would be open to considering partners from Europe, Asia or the United States.

Such a deal could parallel the tie-up between start-up Tesla Motors (TSLA.O) and industry-leader Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) announced earlier this year.

“A strategic partnership with somebody, that’s a possibility,” Fisker said. “We have had talks with several car companies about that, but it has to be not only the right timing but the right fit.”

Fisker said the Irvine, California-based auto company he founded three years ago would consider the possibility of an initial public offering of stock after the launch of the Karma in March.

“A lot has to do with the markets,” Fisker said, adding that the strong investor response to the General Motors Co GM.UL IPO was a positive sign.

“I think it’s a good sign, the interest in General Motors, because I think it’s a good sign for the car business in the United States,” he said.

Reporting by Bernie Woodall and Kevin Krolicki in Detroit, editing by Matthew Lewis

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