Luxury plug-in hybrid maker Fisker Automotive Inc. has gone Hollywood, partnering itself with the “king of the world.” Actor Leonardo DiCaprio of “Titanic” fame has signed on to be a spokesman for the reportedly environmentally friendly Fisker Karma sedan. DiCaprio has participated in fundraising for Fisker, and varying reports indicate that the actor has put up a significant amount of his own money to support the automaker, according to company spokesman Roger Ormisher.
Leonardo DiCaprio as marketing spearhead
Through his publicist, Shawn Sachs, DiCaprio announced his full-fledged support for Fisker.
“My foundation supports efforts to secure a sustainable future for our planet and all its inhabitants,” said DiCaprio. “I am delighted to be working with Fisker Automotive to promote this shared vision.”
Ormisher also spoke of the actor’s support.
“As an equity investor in Fisker Automotive, DiCaprio will participate in conversations on the auto manufacturer’s future plans for the advancement of sustainable, responsible vehicles,” said Ormisher via email. “He’ll work closely with Fisker on marketing and promotional initiatives aimed at bringing attention to sustainability and environmental awareness.”
Losing out on federal funds
Battery pack problems and an associated delay to start of sales may seem to have taken the wind out of Fisker’s sails, but the company has raised over $1 billion in private funds for its plug-in cars. With Leonardo DiCaprio now in tow, Fisker continues to work toward steady growth, even if the company has lost access to some of the $529 million in low-interest federal loans awarded to spur production in the company’s home state of Delaware.
Fisker Automotive co-founder Henrik Fisker hasn’t hesitated to operate his company as if it were business as usual. In February, Fisker named former Chrysler Group LLC CEO Tom LaSorda CEO of luxury hybrid maker. Over 1,000 Fisker Karma vehicles have been delivered in the U.S. and Europe since December 2011, even though the $103,000 sticker price would seem daunting.
Over 1,000 Fisker Karmas delivered
The company, co-founded by chief designer Henrik Fisker, named Tom LaSorda, a former CEO of the predecessor of Chrysler Group LLC, its CEO in February. Fisker has delivered more than 1,000 Karmas, priced from $103,000, in the U.S. and Europe since December. The vehicle has a 50-mile range on the lithium-ion battery before the internal combustion engine activates.
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DiCaprio was first in line
Leonardo DiCaprio first took the Fisker Karma plunge in July 2011, when he received the first off the assembly line.
“The Karma sedan – Fisker Automotive’s first car – is built according to the company’s sustainable and Accountable Design™ philosophy, which represents a dramatic leap forward for the auto industry,” said Fisker. “Fisker’s approach to responsible luxury goes well beyond minimizing fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions. Fisker uses renewable materials and the lowest-impact technologies at every stage of the engineering, production and marketing processes.”
Leonard DiCaprio arrives in his Fisker Karma