Co-Founder resigns from Fisker Automotive
Henrik Fisker has resigned from Fisker Automotive after a reported falling out with the American car maker's executive management. Fisker founded Fisker Automotive in 2007 with partner Bernhard Koehler after a stellar career covering several decades which saw him designing some of the most beautiful cars in the world, such as the BMW Z8 Roadster and Aston Martin DB9.
Henrik Fisker has resigned from Fisker Automotive after a reported falling out with the American car maker's executive management. Fisker founded Fisker Automotive in 2007 with partner Bernhard Koehler after a stellar career covering several decades which saw him designing some of the most beautiful cars in the world, such as the BMW Z8 Roadster and Aston Martin DB9. Currently Fisker manufactures a single model, the luxury Karma petrol electric hybrid. The Karma has been generally well received and won BBC Top Gear's Luxury Car of the Year award but news of Fisker's departure comes on the back of a difficult year for the Californian hybrid car manufacturer.
During 2012 the company suffered several incidences of fire and battery problems in its cars which prompted numerous costly recalls. Fisker was also involved in a number of legal disputes, some centring around those battery problems. The firm was in dispute with their battery manufacturer, A123, over sums that Fisker says it is owed due to breaches of warranty conditions on the batteries and the ongoing costs of the resulting production delays. The company was also in court with XL insurance over compensation claims on 338 Fisker Karma cars that were destroyed after being caught up in Hurricane Sandy during autumn of 2012.
Fisker Automotive was also at the centre of a political dispute after Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, described the company as a failure and criticised the US Energy Department's decision to provide a loan to the company of £355 million during 2011. The bulk of that loan was frozen in 2012 after Fisker failed to meet production targets which were conditions of the original loan agreement. Henrik Fisker had stated in 2011 that his company was looking for short term annual sales of some 15,000 vehicles, rising to 'hundreds of thousands' of cars in the longer term. So far however, the company has managed to sell just over 2,000 Karma vehicles.
Production of the cars was suspended last year after concerns grew about the financial state of the company. Rumours now persist that the company could be sold to Chinese car manufacturers Dongfeng or Geely. Such a sale could be key in raising funds to allow the company to launch its second model, the Atlantic, which would cost around half the price of the Karma at around $55,000. In a statement, the company remained bullish about its future after Mr Fisker's departure. "Mr Fisker's departure is not expected to impact the company's pursuit of strategic partnerships and financing to support Fisker Automotive's continued progress as a pioneer of low-emission hybrid electric powertrain technology," it said.
Back to March 2013