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Eco-sports car headed for China

California-based green sports car manufacturer Fisker Automotive is to sell its vehicles in China, it announced December 15.

The Fisker Karma will make its Chinese debut at the Shanghai Motor Show in April 2011 and deliveries are expected to commence in the fall, Fisker said in a statement emailed to journalists.

The Chinese launch is the result of a partnership between Fisker and the China Grand Automotive Group, a retailer which boasts more than 200 outlets across China carrying brands such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus and Lamborghini.

Fisker debuted the first production Karma at the Paris Motor Show earlier this year, a hybrid which can travel 80 km on electric power before switching to a gas-powered motor for a further 403 km.

It says that about 3,000 pre-orders for the vehicle have already been placed globally and that it expects to sell around 15,000 vehicles every year.

The partnership provides a strong base for Fisker in the affluent, luxury-loving Chinese market, where its most high-profile rival Tesla has yet to open a store.

Tesla, which produces the all-electric Roadster performance car, offers a representative in Hong Kong but has been slow to expand its network of sleek, Apple-inspired stores to Asia - the first Asian showroom opened in Tokyo in November.