Hybrid ride ending for Fisker?

2013-04-07 07:42

LOS ANGELES, California - High-end hybrid-car maker Fisker Automotive has laid off 75% of its workforce after months of financial woes.

The US government, taking the "green" road, had encouraged the company with loans. The company was retailing the Finnish-made four-door, powered by a two-litre Ecotec turbo petrol engine and two 120kW electric motors driving the rear wheels, in the US for $102 000 - $116 000.

The combustion engine does not drive the wheels directly; rather, it powers a generator to supply electricity to the electric motors. The lithium ion batteries also take charge from a solar panel built into the car's roof.

Sources said about 2000 units had been sold between launch in November 2011 and the start of 2013.

A statement from Fisker, published in the trade media, said: "For several months Fisker Automotive has been considering strategic alternatives that would allow the company to work through its current financial challenges.

"Our efforts to secure a strategic alliance or partnership are continuing in earnest but unfortunately we have reached a point where a significant reduction in our workforce has become necessary."


The statement goes on to say that, by the end of Friday (April 5 2013) "Fisker will have retained approximately 25% of our workforce". A positive way of saying the other 75% had been chopped.

Fisker was started in southern California in 2007 by former Aston Martin and BMW designer Henrik Fisker and German business partner Bernhard Koehler. Fisker left the company in early March 2013.

While the company did not succeed with sales it did attract the likes of stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher.

The company lost about 300 vehicles in flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy along the US East Coast towards the end of 2012 and had trouble with several of its suppliers.

Several media outlets had recently reported on discussions to place the company under bankruptcy protection.

Fisker had refused to comment.