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Henrik Fisker Hopes to Buy His Battery-Car Company Back

Fisker Automotive founder reportedly teaming up with Hong Kong tycoon.

by on May.28, 2013

Fisker Automotive founder Henrik Fisker with the $103,000 Fisker Karma during better times.

Forced out earlier this year after a disagreement over management policies, Fisker Automotive founder Henrik Fisker is hoping to regain control of the struggling maker of plug-in hybrid vehicles which is expected to file bankruptcy unless it can quickly find a White Knight to cover its mounting debts.

Henrik Fisker, who first made his name as an automotive designer, is reportedly teaming up with Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li – an early investor in Fisker Automotive. While Fisker was not immediately available to comment, reports on the Reuters news service indicate they would like to take over the automaker without forcing it into bankruptcy.

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They would be one of several groups company insiders say are interested in taking over Fisker Automotive which launched sales of its Karma plug-in hybrid vehicle early last year. Among the others, former General Motors “car czar” Bob Lutz has teamed up with a Chinese automotive supplier to place a $20 million bid for Fisker post-bankruptcy.


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 Bankruptcy Could Come Within Days

GOP preparing House hearings on collapse.

by on Apr.10, 2013

Henrik Fisker is one of several current and former Fisker Automotive executives who will be asked to testify before the House Oversight Committee.

Lawyers for Fisker Automotive are putting the final touches on paperwork that could put the company into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection within a matter of days, according to numerous sources in and outside the fast-fading battery-carmaker.

The move appears to be coming under pressure from the Department of Energy which is hoping to recoup more than $200 million in government-backed loans it initially provided to help spur the development of Fisker’s plug-in hybrid technology. The automaker has faced increasing turmoil in recent months and last week terminated three-quarters of its 160-member staff.

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The news is causing turmoil in Washington, where the DoE automotive loan program has long been criticized by Republicans. House GOP members are planning to press into Fisker’s problems with hearings by a key oversight committee later this month, with Fisker founder Henrik Fisker and current CEO Tony Posawatz reportedly among those being called to testify.


Fisker Facing Federal Lawsuit; Other Legal Action Could Follow

Bankruptcy the likely option, say sources.

by on Apr.08, 2013

Barring some last-minute rescue, don't expect to ever see the Fisker Atlantic make production.

If it were possible for things to get worse, well, it just might for fast-failing Fisker Automotive which, just last Friday, laid off three quarters of its employees, including its marketing, engineering and communications teams.

That move has triggered a federal lawsuit alleging the company failed to provide the required advance notice before releasing 160 of its 210 employees – who were also advised they would receive no severance pay.

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Meanwhile, several highly placed sources echoed their concerns that a bankruptcy filing is extremely “likely,” one executive who has had close scrutiny of Fisker’s books telling, “I don’t see how they can avoid it.”


Fisker Lays Off 75% of Workforce, Bankruptcy Could Follow

Maker looking for cash, partner or buyer.

by on Apr.05, 2013

Henrik Fisker with one of the first Karma plug-in hybrids during its initial media drive.

This is a complete update of’s earlier report.

About 75% of the workforce at troubled battery-car start-up Fisker Automotive has been laid off, including its entire communications staff and much of its marketing and engineering operations, a move forced by the firm’s increasing weak financial situation and the mounting fears that without new investors or partners Fisker could be forced into bankruptcy, numerous sources have confirmed.

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The move comes only days after U.S. employees reported back after a week-long, unpaid furlough, and less than a month after founder and former Chairman Henrik Fisker resigned over “several major disagreements” with members of the small carmaker’s senior management team over its ongoing business strategy.

“Unfortunately we have reached a point where a significant reduction in our workforce has become necessary,” the company said, adding that it was still searching for a strategic partner.


Potential Partners May Be Backing Away from Fisker

Geely, Dongfeng might rethink plans for plug-in maker.

by on Mar.18, 2013

The big challenge will be coming up with the cash to bring the Fisker Atlantic to market.

Now that the company’s eponymous founder has tendered his resignation, have several possible Chinese partners also decided to take a pass on Fisker Automotive? That appears to be a strong possibility according to published reports and several sources has spoken to.

The question then is whether the struggling battery-car maker will have the resources to continue on its own considering its financial problems and the repeated delays in launching the company’s critical second product, the Fisker Atlantic.

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Founder and non-executive Chairman Henrik Fisker tendered his resignation last Wednesday, citing “several major disagreements” with senior management.  While Fisker has declined to be interviewed about the source of that trouble, company sources tell the issues appear to have largely centered around a disagreement with CEO Tony Posawatz over  how much money was needed to move the company forward and where it would come from.


Fisker Founder Henrik Fisker Resigns

Cites “major disagreements” with new management team.

by on Mar.13, 2013

The Fisker Karma with company founder Henrik Fisker.

With his eponymous battery-car company facing increasing turmoil as it struggles to survive a trouble launch and increasing financial problems, Henrik Fisker has resigned as executive chairman of California-based Fisker Automotive.

In a terse statement, the executive cited “several major disagreements” with members of the small carmaker’s senior management team over its ongoing business strategy. It is unclear if that references reported plans to find a partner and possibly sell a controlling stake in the firm to one of several Chinese automakers linking to the Fisker company.

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After tendering his resignation, Fisker sent out a note to a small group of media, including, in which he stated that effective immediately he “has  resigned from Fisker Automotive as Executive Chairman, and has left the company. The main reasons for (my) resignation are several major disagreements…with the Fisker Automotive executive management on the business strategy.”


Ousted GM Marketing Chief Makes Unexpected Reappearance at Fisker

Joel Ewanick will serve as “interim” marketing chief.

by on Nov.27, 2012

During his heyday, former Hyundai and GM marketing chief Joel Ewanick was hailed as a major game-changer.

Joel Ewanick, the high-profile marketing chief ousted in a sudden shake-up at General Motors earlier this year has resurfaced at Fisker Automotive where he will serve as the battery-car start-ups interim global sales and marketing chief.

The 52-year-old executive will work in a consulting role while Fisker searches for a permanent replacement for automotive industry veteran Richard Beattie, 58, who will retire.  It’s the latest in a series of unexpected management changes at Fisker, which has been struggling to gain momentum with its Karma plug-in hybrid after a slow launch and a series of subsequent recalls and other problems.

“As we seek to appoint a long-term successor, there is no one better than Joel, with his wealth of motor industry experience and knowledge to guide us through this interim period. I am delighted to welcome him to the Fisker team,” said Posawatz.

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Posawatz, who himself only joined California-based Fisker two months ago, had significant experiencing working with Ewanick in an earlier part of his career. A General Motors veteran, Posawatz played a lead role in the development  of the maker’s own plug-in hybrid, the Chevrolet Volt.  Marketing the breakthrough product was one of the most challenging assignments for Ewanick after joining GM in mid-2010.


Fisker Automotive May Add New Motor City Engineering Center

Hopes to access Motown’s supplier, engineering know-how.

by on Nov.15, 2012

The Fisker Atlantic prototype during its unveiling in New York last spring.

As it begins to move ahead with the development of its next model – and lays out plans for future offerings – California-based battery-car start-up Fisker Automotive is focusing attention on the Motor City.

The maker says it is strongly considering a new technical center in the Detroit suburbs, hoping such a facility would help it tap the knowledge of Michigan’s well-established engineering and supplier base. It would actually mark a return to the automotive center, Fisker having closed an earlier facility in the suburbs two years ago.

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“This important step signals our commitment to bringing the Fisker Atlantic to market as soon as we can,” Tony Posawatz, Fisker’s new President and CEO said in a statement. “We will be bringing our own engineering footprint closer to our supplier base and the expertise and professional work force that have driven the American automotive industry for more than a century.”


Fisker May Push Back 2nd, Cheaper Model to 2015

Maker warns investors of delays.

by on Oct.17, 2012

The Fisker Atlantic prototype during its unveiling in New York last spring.

While it could make the difference between long-term success or failure, start-up battery-car maker Fisker Automotive is pushing back the planned launch of its second product line, the maker’s new chief executive has told investors, possibly to as late as 2015.

That’s a setback for the company that, only recently, had hinted it might begin testing a prototype of the vehicle, to be dubbed the Fisker Atlantic, by early next year. On the positive side, the California-based maker of plug-in hybrid sports cars has learned that its battery supplier won’t be going out of business as some had feared.

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But the latest apparent delay could be a serious problems for the maker as the Atlantic is designed to be its first truly mainstream product and its primary source of revenue in the mid-term future.