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Henrik Fisker quits Fisker Automotive

Executive chairman and chief designer leaves automaker over 'major disagreements.'

By Exhaust Notes Mar 13, 2013 10:43AM
Henrik Fisker is resigning from the electric automaker that bears his name, according to the company and several media reports early Wednesday afternoon.

The U.K. magazine Autocar said it received a company statement that its executive chairman had resigned due to "several major disagreements that Henrik Fisker has with the Fisker Automotive executive management on the business strategy."

Fisker Automotive posted a different and altogether positive statement on its media website later in the day, thanking him for "his service and many contributions as Fisker Automotive has progressed from start-up to a fully fledged global automotive company."

The company did not comment or elaborate on what those "major disagreements" were.

"The company has a strong and experienced management team, and its strategy has not changed," the statement said. "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."


Fisker, in an October interview with MSN Autos, said he wanted the company to build plug-in hybrids for major automakers and had been in talks with at least three brands. However, since February, Fisker Automotive has been trying to sell the majority of the company, including considering a $350 million bid from Chinese automaker Dongfeng Motor Co. that would give it an 85 percent stake.


Fisker, a Finnish coachbuilder who began modifying Mercedes and BMW models in California, founded Fisker Automotive in 2007 and was the company's chief designer for the $103,000 Karma, an exotic, plug-in hybrid sedan built with General Motors components.  With Fisker gone, it is not certain how product development would continue without his influence.

In February 2012, Fisker stepped down as CEO to become executive chairman soon after a congressional hearing blasted the company for its lackluster fuel-economy ratings and the Energy Department froze the remainder of a $529 million loan. Tom LaSorda from Chrysler took over, only to step down in August shortly before the company’s second recall, which involved a string of battery failures and engine-compartment fires. Tony Posawatz, who led the Chevrolet Volt development team, is still the current CEO.

So far, Fisker has built and delivered 1,500 Karma sedans in the U.S. and Europe and set up a network of 79 dealerships. Fisker hasn't built any cars since July, when problems at its battery supplier, A123 Systems, forced that company to go bankrupt and delay shipments. Fisker's next car, the smaller Atlantic, is due for production this year, but its manufacturing plant in Delaware is still idle.

According to Fisker himself, a third, sub-$40,000 model below the Atlantic is on the table.

[Source: Fisker, Autocar]
74Comments
Mar 13, 2013 11:39AM
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Whatever went down there is no argument that Fisker dreamed and built one leading technology and drop dead gorgeous vehicle!  Well done.
Mar 13, 2013 11:35AM
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Tucker, De Lorean and now Fisker among many other auto dreamers that did not reach the auto heights of success.  I saw one Fisker last week in San Diego and that's the only one I've seen. 
Mar 13, 2013 11:51AM
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.....and the electric car is the way forward...........

CNG is a better option, so is hydrogen......PRICE and SAFETY are the only major issues.

(the car companies DO NOT want cars like the Fisker to be built. It eats into their profits)

Mar 13, 2013 12:07PM
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there are just a few? purely electric cars on the market- none are feasible for real-world use. And hybrids are a joke- remeber, America, you now have TWO systems that can go bad and/or need replace: Gas engine, electric engine, and BATTERIES. My old '78 Datsun B210 was HOMELY, but inexpensive, fun to drive, reliable, and did a TRUE 36 MPG. High- MPG GAS-ENGINED cars have been built in the past. Why not now?.....
Mar 13, 2013 12:59PM
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I thought this was about Fisker scissors.
Mar 13, 2013 11:52AM
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Contrary to Indymav's opinion, this is not another Obama boondoggle. They only tapped $190 million or so of the $529 million loan, and the safeguards were in place to ensure the remaining funds could be placed on hold if the company fell into trouble or did not reach certain progress benchmarks. And this was not a give-away. Fisker raised nearly $1 billion of their own capital in order to qualify for the DOE loans. The loan funds were to re-tool an idle General Motors factor to make Fisker automobiles and put Americans to work in high-paying jobs. While I do not advocate the government wasting money, the rewards of the loan outweigh the risks. I think this is money better spent than the $70 million for Nascar tracks included in the fiscal cliff deal. 

Mar 13, 2013 12:25PM
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The majority here seem to believe in E-l-e-c-t-r-i-c cars. The power comes from Power Plants - the batteries are a perpetual and on going hazzard that must be disposed of and cost too much to replace so the life/value  of the car is down to Z-e-r-o in 4 to 5 years. The amount of waste is more than equal to an efficient gas engine over the short life span of electric cars. The US automakers cannot stop stupid technology and do not want to. If GM or Ford or Chrysler could, or even wanted to stop this, Obama could not have approved the loan. Wanna buy some chinese windmills or solar panels LoL. This was a good looking car - other than that you are blowing into a hurricane (or trying to find a reason to congratulate Obama for this fiasco too)'. A car that uses water (H2O) into it 2 molecules of hydrogen to burn for power will emit the one molecule of oxygen out the tailpipe as waste. Simple - you can build one at home - look it up on YouTube. And 4 cylinder car engines can get better milage than hybred electric/gas cars with better performance and horsepower. There is no polution savings by using rechargeable electrics unless they are 100% contained (no plug in) and the battery is guarenteed for as long as the oldest car (in existance) still running. So a 100 + year guarentee may make an electric usable.

Mar 13, 2013 12:13PM
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Seriously, can't we all get along? Most of us dream of being in the position, yet those that make it fight like kindergarten kids in a sandbox. Why not get back to basics and find out what it will take to get the car on the market again. Also, why build a $100,000 car when the market is probably in the $50,000 range?  

 

If the Chinese don't buy the company, they will buy the executives or steal the proprietary information and have it anyway. Americans are their worst enemy. Too affluent, too cocky, and not lean enough to want it bad enough to make it happen.

Mar 13, 2013 12:11PM
Mar 13, 2013 12:52PM
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So what?... this might possibly only matter to the millionth of 1% who might have stock in.. or write a blog about the company.  Is MSN really hurting for reporting so much that employee changes at a no name car company makes a link on the main page?
Whats wrong? no race card or anti gun story to push?

Mar 13, 2013 12:53PM
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Beauitful car but only the elite can afford one.

Mar 13, 2013 12:46PM
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Of course they won't use an induction system, from a high voltage source buried within the pavement. Or they could have a collector shoe or probe that would connect with the circuit under the pavement, a buried third rail if you will. That is the only way that an electric car will succeed, no matter how much the government subsidizes them. Batteries are not efficient, too expensive to replace, and a disaster area when it comes to disposing of them.
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Fisker battery problems, Boeing battery problems... 'Tis time to bring battery manufacturing home to the USA.
Mar 13, 2013 12:21PM
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Toyota had a hydrogen ready to go several years ago, but guess what, the oil cartel shut it down. The reason, simply, greed. We are paying 3.99 per gallon, and there is no reason why we should be paying more that 1.50 per gal, except of course, the greed aspect. Eric Cantor is a piece of sh..t. There is nothing good about Eric Cantor, absoletly nothing.
Mar 13, 2013 12:17PM
Mar 13, 2013 1:26PM
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I agree on conservation and science.... Especially that we are coming out of a 400 year cold snap in the millions of years weather cycle history of the planet. http://en.wikipedia.​org/wiki/Little_Ice_​Age
No need to panic... promote birth control, reduce deforestation to supply habitation because some people breed like rodents and over populate regions. Promote natural resources like growing hemp (plant that consumes CO2) to make rope/clothing/fiber instead of Dupont using oil/petrolium products to pollute while making nylon, polyester and synthetics...
just sayin
Mar 13, 2013 12:28PM
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So far, the Fisker experiment has been a terrible waste of my tax money.

 

Next scandal: Quickly failing start-stop batteries.  Start-stop makes a ton of sense, and is expected to continue to roll out world-wide in a huge way, but the AGM batteries currently used fail literally almost as soon as the new car drives off the lot.  The auto companies know it, but have figured that until their customers, the EPA, and consumer protection groups complain loudly enough, they won't pay suppliers the slight extra money for batteries that actually last. 

 

Their choices are Axion Power's "PbC" battery, which is a little more expensive, but only now becoming available, and lithium-ion, which is more available but a lot more expensive.

 

Expected to be in 35 million cars per year by 2017 (yes, you read that huge number correctly), the start-stop battery problem is gonna make one heck of a scandal.  Unless the automakers fix it soon.

Mar 13, 2013 1:03PM
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I thought they just made scissors.
Mar 13, 2013 1:05PM
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I'll make it as simple as possible.  Around1910 80% of the fueled vehicles ran on Steam, Electric or Alcahol.  Gasoline was available at hardware stores, refineries or a local pushcart would come to you.  No infrastructure. J.D. Rockerfeller could make this explosive waste material inexpensively & Ford built cars with an engine that could run on it.  10M in 15 years and there were stations coast to coast.  Problem with fossil fuel, including natural gas - the long term cost NEVER will stay down.  Each well goes deeper, is further away from processing (which also costs more), you  go further into the mine for each carload of coal & wages, inspite of the corporate bent toward slavery, the cost coninues to rise,etc.,Then there is Science (whoops I've just taken it beyond simple).  Hydrogen, the most common element our universe of galaxies, is the ultimate source for our energy, but it's got that nagging proton that wants to double up. Various ways to get off of this diet of fossil or non-reneable fuels will prevail for awhile.  Lithium batteries are fully recylclable, but like most batteries their long term ability to hold a charge ebbs.  Anyway, it's not going to take much longer to get off fossil fuels.  The market will hustle it along. Some major oil company will get it's head out of the sand and realize it is a power supply company and like Saudi Arabia, Dubai, et al.( who are building wind and solar complexes) they'll stop drilling and create alternative sources of power. 

Mar 13, 2013 2:15PM
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who cares it is an expensive POS anyway
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