As if being the recent purchaser of the bankrupt Fisker Automotive Holdings Inc., wasn’t daunting enough, Lu Guanqiu is hoping for a stroke of good Karma after announcing that he hopes to build a new slate of electric-drive vehicles and willing to do whatever is necessary to succeed in the United States and around the World—Challenging Tesla Motors Inc.
Lu, the chairman and founder of China’s Wanxiang Group Corp., plans to manufacture the cars in the U.S. and ultimately in China. “I’ll put every cent that Wanxiang earns into making electric vehicles,” further adding “I’ll burn as much cash as it takes to succeed, or until Wanxiang goes bust.” Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors has not officially replied to this business jab by Lu.
Lu, 69, made tractor parts during China’s Cultural Revolution and has nursed a desire to build cars since the 1980s, he said. Now he has a fortune of $3.1 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Musk, worth about $9.2 billion, said earlier this year he expects China will become Tesla’s biggest market. Wanxiang, China’s largest auto parts maker, is hoping to build upon the remnants of Fisker whose plug-in hybrid sports car, the Karma, won raves for its low-slung design and rants from critics for its technical flaws. The $103,000 Karma was made in Finland. Fisker filed for bankruptcy in late 2013, before it could make good on its plan to use an Energy Department loan to produce a second model in the United States.