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Fisker, Penske team up to open Arizona dealership UPDATE
Penske will see how many Fisker Karmas they sell before opening up more joint dealerships
Luxury plug-in hybrid maker Fisker Automotive Inc. has opened a new dealership with Penske Automotive Group in Scottsdale, Ariz., but consumers will dictate whether the companies open more stores together.

Tony Pordon, Penske executive vice president of investor relations and corporate development, said the company is taking a wait-and-see approach with the dealership, which sold its first Karma on Monday.

Penske will evaluate public acceptance of Fisker products and use that evaluation to decide whether to open more dealerships with Fisker, he said.

"It's a new dealership point in the marketplace. There is nothing more to it," Pordon said. "We're starting with one and we'll see how it goes. That brand wasn't represented."

Fisker has 80 retail outlets globally, including 48 in North America. John Schlitt, general manager of Fisker of Scottsdale, said the location has been open for business since late May.

Matthew Malfitano, Fisker's director of global market operations, wrote in an e-mail that the company sees Arizona as a growth market.

"Arizonans are very aware of how we need to protect the environment. It's a perfect market for Fisker's high style, eco-friendly cars," Malfitano said. "It's difficult to say exactly what volumes will be at this point, but we expect to be very happy there." autonews.com

06/08/12 Luxury plug-in hybrid maker Fisker Automotive Inc. said today it has opened a dealership with Penske Automotive Group in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The store gives Fisker 80 retail outlets globally, 48 in North America. The Scottsdale dealership’s grand opening is scheduled for next month, a company official said.

Penske operates 336 dealerships representing 42 brands, plus 29 collision repair centers, according to a statement.

Fisker makes the Karma plug-in hybrid, which travels about 50 miles on lithium ion battery power before a gasoline engine takes over. The car has had trouble with its batteries -- including a shutdown during testing by Consumer Reports magazine. Fisker said last month it has sold 1,000 Karmas. They are priced at $103,000, including shipping, before a $7,500 federal tax credit.

A statement announcing the dealership did not indicate if more Fisker-Penske dealerships were in the works.

Matthew Malfitano, Fisker’s director of North American operations, said in the statement: Penske’s “support speaks volumes about Fisker’s market potential. Fisker is proud to be part of the Penske team and we look forward to a fruitful relationship.”

Penske, headed by Roger Penske, ranks No. 2 on the Automotive News list of the top 125 dealership groups in the United States with total new vehicle sales of 154,829 in 2011.

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