Tom Lasorda charged with taking Fisker to the mass market; boss Henrik Fisker to focus on design

Former Chrysler boss Tom Lasorda will join Fisker as vice chairman, with the brief of running the plug-in electric car specialist day-to-day and pushing its volume car manufacturer aspirations.

Lasorda's appointment is designed to give company CEO Henrik Fisker, a former Aston chief designer, the chance to focus more on design and brand development.

Earlier this year the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid was launched, with sales targets of 12,5000 cars a year. Fisker plans to break into the mass market with its second car, codenamed Project Nina, which will go into production in late 2012.

Project Nina is being billed as a rival to the BMW 3-series, and will be powered by a BMW-sourced turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. The engine will be supplemented by Fisker's own range-extender hybrid technology.

Three body styles of Project Nina will be offered – saloon, convertible and shooting-brake – and it will cost from around $50,000 in the US. Unlike Fisker’s only current model, the Mercedes CLS-sized Karma, the new model will be offered in right-hand drive.

Lasorda left Chrysler in 2009, following its bankruptcy proceedings. He previously worked for GM and then took an influential role in Daimler's sale of Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management in 2007. Since leaving Chrysler he has worked with several start-up companies, looking to break into the electric car market.

Fisker has also announced the appointment of ex-Jaguar Land Rover sales and marketing boss Richard Beattie to the newly created role of chief commercial officer.

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