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Fisker Automotive Chooses Delaware as Location to Build Plug-in Hybrid Cars

Former GM plant in Wilmington will be refurbished and retooled; production slated to begin in late 2012.

Fisker Automotive announced on Tuesday its intent to purchase a dormant assembly plant in Wilmington, Del., to build plug-in hybrid cars.

The privately owned manufacturer has signed a letter of intent with Motors Liquidation Co., formerly known as General Motors Corp., to purchase the facility for $18 million after a four-month evaluation period, Fisker Automotive announced. An additional $175 million will be spent to refurbish and retool the factory, with production scheduled to begin in late 2012.

The Wilmington plant advances Fisker Automotive's Project NINA, which the company describes as the development and manufacture of an affordable, family-oriented plug-in hybrid sedan costing about $39,900 after federal tax credits. Fisker Automotive said Project NINA will ultimately create or support 2,000 factory jobs by 2014, with production capacity growing to 75,000 to 100,000 vehicles per year.

Funds for the Wilmington plant come from a $528.7 million conditional loan awarded to the company in September from the Department of Energy, Fisker Automotive said.

The Wilmington assembly plant was built by GM in 1947 and has expanded over the years to 3.2 million square feet on 142 acres of land. It includes an on-site powerhouse and a waste water treatment facility. Its size, production capacity and access to transportation were cited as important site selection criteria.

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