Fisker Automotive boss Henrik Fisker has dismissed reports claiming the company is in financial trouble following a loan dispute with the US Department of Energy (DoE).
Speaking to Autocar, Fisker said his company could be “financially self-sufficient” if it were to settle to just selling its first model, the Karma. It has secured a $529 million DoE loan to help finance its next model, the BMW 5-series-sized Project Nina, but Fisker has been unable to access anymore than $198m of this money so far after the DoE claimed the start-up had missedtargets.
Fisker insiders claim the company is being used as “a political football” in election year in the US, with DoE loans now under great scrutiny from opposing Republicans after one recipient of DoE loans, solar panel maker Solyndra, went bust.
Fisker has used the DoE money to recommission the former General Motors plant in Delaware to build Nina, and fund the car’s engineering, design and development to an advanced stage ahead of a planned autumn 2013 launch. Nina’s funding delay has forced Fisker to lay off 26 workers in Delaware.
Speaking at the launch of the Karma in Los Angeles, Fisker said: “We’re viable as a business just selling the Karma. We’re delivering around 25 Karmas a day and have had more than $100m come into the company since December.
“But while we want to grow, we don’t need extra models to become viable. We already are. We’re still negotiating with the DoE, but we don’t need its money to fund Nina. We have other options and we’re not in a hurry. Karma is done and financed and we need to make the right business decisions for Nina.
“We will pay the DoE back as soon we can. It’s sad to see bloggers come up with theories as to our demise. We don’t want to talk politics.”