Fisker expects to partner with automakers
Three potential deals are in the works.
Fisker Automotive's CEO, warning of the pitfalls facing independent small automakers, says the luxury plug-in hybrid manufacturer is poised to partner with other automakers next year.
Tony Posawatz, Fisker's CEO and former chief engineer of the Chevrolet Volt, told Automotive News that Fisker is in talks for three potential deals in which executives at the "highest levels" of the companies involved are "talking specifics."
"We are absolutely committed to making this company win longer term, and the history of smaller companies living on their own in the automotive business is not stellar," Posawatz said in an interview. "We are not going to go it alone."
Posawatz said alliance deals could be completed within the next year.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Fisker has retained investment bank Evercore Partners to assist the search for investors or partners. The newspaper also reported that Fisker's board has contemplated the possibility of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing unnamed sources. Posawatz told the newspaper that "any business always has itself protected, but it has never been part of any plan in earnest," referencing the possibility of bankruptcy.
It's not clear if equity tie-ups or a possible acquisition are on the table. The newspaper said, citing unnamed sources, that Fisker has not won partnership interest from large automakers so far. The newspaper also said the company's investor search is focusing on Europe and China.
Reuters reported that Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher denied plans that a sale of the company was on the table. Posawatza said Fisker is shopping its extended-range electric drive technology system, its "parts bin" of plug-in hybrid components and its automobile design expertise to potential suitors.
The most promising avenue for Fisker is licensing its powertrain systems to companies looking to boost the fuel efficiency of their products quickly, Posawatz said, noting that Karma already meets federal fuel economy standards that will be required in 2025.
-- Ryan Beene, Automotive News
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