By Nat Shirley
Friday, Nov 30th, 2012 @ 12:38 pm
 

A123 Systems has slowed battery production following its bankruptcy filing last month, forcing California-based Fisker to temporarily halt output of the Karma sedan.

Production of the luxury plug-in hybrid is expected to restart sometime after December 6, when A123 - Fisker's sole battery supplier - is scheduled to auction off assets including its Michigan battery plant. In the meantime, Fisker's remaining batteries are being held in reserve as potential replacement parts for the Karma sedans that have already been sold.

"Because we have no batteries, there's no production right now. Inventory is starting to get a little low," Fisker CEO Posawatz said in an interview with Bloomberg. "We'd like to restart production as quickly as possible. We should know the outcome of the auction by the middle of December."

Auto parts supply companies Johnson Controls and China's Waxiang Group are expected to compete for A123's assets, although the U.S. government has reserved the right veto any potential sale. In 2009, A123 received a $249.1 million federal grant to build a U.S. production facility.

To gain a more reliable source of batteries, Fisker does have the option of a seeking a new supplier, although the process of evaluating new cells could take nearly a year.