China’s largest automotive parts company, the Wanxiang Group Corporation, made an unexpected last-minute bid for bankrupt carmaker Fisker Automotive at the beginning of January. The company said its initial bid would be worth $24.7m adding that it had agreed to shoulder some of Fisker’s liabilities. 

Hangzhou-based Wanxiang said that if the bid was successful it intended to re-start Fisker production as early as April 2014. Production of the carmaker’s Karma plug-in sports hybrid stopped in 2012. 

Wanxiang said it also plans to relocate production from Finland to Michigan in the US. The Chinese company is hoping to sell more than 1,000 Fisker vehicles within 18 months in North America, and 500 in Europe. Wanxiang also suggested that, should it win the bid, production costs associated with making Fisker cars would be reduced. 

Creditors at Fisker reportedly petitioned the US Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, to put an end to agreements that would see the company transferred to Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li. Instead, it asked that open auctions be held, at which Wanxiang America is expected to bid. Fisker is reported to prefer the transfer to Li.
Fisker will attend a hearing on January 10th to find out whether it will continue with sales to Li or reject the proposal and take up with Wanxiang.

The company is reported to blame Wanxiang for its business failure, noting that supplies were cut when the Chinese parts supplier took over battery maker A123 in a similar bankruptcy auction according to a Reuters report. A123 produced the batteries for Fisker’s cars. 

Speaking on behalf of Fisker’s official creditors, William Baldiga, an attorney at Brown Rudnick, told Automotive News: “They are extremely capable and knowledgeable of the industry and know how to get things done.”