Fisker, the California-based manufacturer of plug-in hybrid cars, looks close to folding — according to reports from the US

Fisker, the electric car maker based in Anaheim, California, laid off a significant number of staff this morning, including the PR team, sources have told Autocar.

Reports last week revealed that Fisker had hired a law firm, which many commentators suggested was a lead-in to filing for bankruptcy. Production of Fisker’s £65,000 Karma model – which is made by Valmet in Finland - was suspended last July.

US sources say that Fisker was also due to start making capital repayments on a government loan at the end of this month. Fisker was offered up to £350m in loans by the Obama administration, but payments were suspended in May 2012 after Fisker had drawn down around £131m. The company claimed to have delivered nearly 1800 Karmas by the end of 2012.

The company spent much of last year looking for new sources of investment, but has also been hit by a number of blows, some beyond its control. A number of early production Fiskers had to be recalled and repaired. A123 Systems, the company’s battery supplier also folded in 2012.

In October 2012 an estimated 300 Karmas were destroyed when Hurricane Sandy flooded the dockside at Port Newark in New Jersey. Last month, founder Henrik Fisker resigned from the company.

The Fisker company began life in 2007 and was founded by ex-Aston and BMW stylist Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler. The Karma saloon was first shown in 2009 but it was not until autumn 2011 that it went on sale.

Work on the Fisker Atlantic sports hatch version of the Karma, and on Project Nina (a 5-series-size car that was to have been built in the US), was also suspended last year.

Join the debate


5 April 2013

One minute there's new models, the next!?,maybe the founder knew something?

Peter Cavellini.

5 April 2013

That's a shame. Not a very promising event for the electric cars. Fisker was among the pioneers of this technology.

5 April 2013

It has a promising start. The cars were significantly cheaper then Tesla, then, disaster struck. Maybe the founder knew the chances of them recovering from these setbacks was nigh on impossible and carried on in hope that a white knight would come to the rescue. This all bodes well for Tesla. It could have been worse though. The directors of the company could have done 'a Rover' by plundering the resources to feather their own nests...Why would any of them worry about been struck off from being a company director when they'd acquired such huge pension pots?

5 April 2013

Given Tesla's improved financial performance recently, and the similarity between what they and Fisker aimed to achieve (namely low-CO2 motoring that's still fun), I wonder if this is all going to lead to a buy-out of Fisker's assets in the not-too-distant future. It wouldn't be straightforward, particularly with that government loan liability, and it would be very cruel to those recently laid off were they not to be re-employed. But I can see some kind of merger being possible.

5 April 2013

DeLorien (maybe spelt that wrong sorry) did the same thing with government money. 

what's life without imagination

5 April 2013

"laid off a significant number of staff this morning"

75% to be more precise. Not very promising.
Note for investors: wait for bankruptcy, grab rights for peanuts, lose the questionable range extender drive train, replace with proper engine, as in V8. And the most important thing: do not sell to Justin Bieber.

6 April 2013

Tesla has a joint agreeement / investment with Toyota, unlike Fisker.


6 April 2013

Such a shame. The Karma was a wonderful looker and contrary to Amantin, I think range extenders are the sensible alternative to pure EV's. A V8, while a nice idea isn't an option.

7 April 2013
Leslie Brook wrote:

A V8, while a nice idea isn't an option.

Bob Lutz begs to differ

6 April 2013

Bad news for everyone concerned - investors, creditors, staff, taxpayers, owners etc. Such a shame to see a clever design like this not succeed. Contrary to previous comments, I'd always considered range extenders to be the most elegant solution to electric vehicles. In my view they're the scientists' and engineers' choice. Pure EVs? One for the marketeers, I feel.


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