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Bankruptcy Real Possibility, Fisker COO Concedes

Maker, Obama Admin hit hard during House hearing.

by on Apr.25, 2013

Shown here with the $103,000 Karma, former Fisker Automotive Chairman Henrik Fisker was grilled on Capitol Hill.

Fisker Automotive may be running out of options other than bankruptcy, the floundering battery-carmaker’s chief operating officer conceded during an often contentious hearing on Capitol Hill.

The maker — which recently laid off 75% of its U.S. staff and this week saw the U.S. Energy Department seize the company’s emergency reserve funds – has been at the heart of a partisan battle over a program created by the Obama Administration to support clean car technologies. The GOP-controlled House Oversight Committee ordered three current and former Fisker executives, as well as the head of the Energy Dept. loan program to testify about the likely collapse of the automaker.

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“I do not know exactly what the future holds for Fisker Automotive, including whether the company will be able to find new investors,” said COO and co-founder Bernhard  Koehler, “or whether the company may be obliged to seek bankruptcy protection to facilitate its continued efforts to preserve value for all stakeholders.”


Energy Dept Seizes $21 Mil from Fisker Automotive

Battery-carmaker facing Chapter 11, founder set to testify before House.

by on Apr.23, 2013

Henrik Fisker is one of several current and former Fisker Automotive execs called to testify before Congress.

Even as the company’s founder is set to testify before a House hearing, the U.S. Department of Energy has seized $21 million from Fisker Automotive to apply towards repayment of a federal loan the floundering battery-car manufacturer received.

The move appears to have emptied what was left of Fisker’s fast-dwindling cash assets, a further nudge towards bankruptcy, according to industry observers. The maker has been expected to file ever since laying off 75% of its 160-member staff earlier this month.

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The collapse of Fisker is raising questions not only about a DoE loan program designed to help fund the development of advanced, high-mileage vehicles but what happened with the money Fisker tapped from its loan – as well as an estimated $1.2 billion it received from private investors.


Fisker Begins Hiring for Project Nina

Workers will prepare plant for 2012 production for as-yet unseen mid-size sedan.

by on Jun.23, 2011

Fisker Automotive founder Henrik Fisker with his plug-in hybrid, the $87,900 Karma.

HELP WANTED: Fisker Automotive is hiring about 120 employees for its Wilmington, Del., plant where it will build Project Nina.

Some of those hires, mostly electro-mechanical technicians and early teams of production workers, will be hired this summer.

Fisker’s second line of vehicles, which is code-named Project Nina, is expected to go into production at the end of 2012, with sales starting 2013.

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The company said it has already gone through a significant expansion at its Anaheim, Calif., headquarters were the staff quadrupled from 50 workers to 300 between January 2010 and January 2011.

The workers in Wilmington will install new equipment and begin testing the manufacturing process as the company works on in-house vehicle production for the first time. Valmet Automotive in Finland is building Fisker’s first car, the Karma luxury four-door.

Click here to read’s special report on Fisker’s plans.

“This is an exciting time for Fisker. As we bring the Fisker Karma sedan to market and start delivering to customers, we are simultaneously starting to employ a world-class American workforce to build world-class American electric vehicles with extended range in a re-commissioned American plant,” Fisker Chief Operating Officer, Bernhard Koehler.

Fisker’s cars use a gasoline-electric system, similar to the Chevrolet Volt’s system. Fisker calls its system “electric vehicles with extended range” or EVer.

Fisker also said that it has recycled 11.2 million pounds of iron, steel, aluminum and wood from the Wilmington plant. In addition, it is reusing materials, such as turning scrap wood from the Wilmington production line as flooring in its Anaheim facility.

Fisker has said little about Project Nina other than it will be a mid-size premium sedan that will use the EVer system. No pictures have been released.