By on November 25, 2013

Fisker Karma Courtesy tumblr.com

What do Justin Bieber, Ashton Kutcher and Al Gore all have in common? They may soon — baring a miracle — become the proud owners of the first orphan cars made in the 21st century for well-moneyed consumers by an automaker born in the 21st century, as Fisker Automotive has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Unlike Chapter 7, where everything is liquidated and everyone is laid off forever (an experience this writer has gone through herself with her last full-time employer), Chapter 11 will allow Fisker to attempt to get it together through reorganization with Richard Li of Hybrid Tech Holdings, LLC at the helm. Li purchased Fisker in a United States government auction last month for $25 million.

As for who this bankruptcy filing affects, look no further than your wallet: Fisker Automotive was one of a few automakers who took out a loan from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program. The total note was $529 million, though Fisker only took $192 million from the government while also taking $525 million from private investors. While the DOE recouped $28 million from the automaker’s first missed payment, the government (and thus, the taxpayer) lost $139 million on the investment.

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28 Comments on “Fisker Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy...”


  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    Does anyone know what the build quality was like for these? it looks OK needs a V8.
    Tesla, Fisker and Volt. Who killed the Electric Car? it appears they wiped themselves out.

    • 0 avatar

      I drove around in one for a day to test the electric range and “stealth mode”. The build quality was actually quite good. It was like one of Jaguar’s newer cars – only more use of sueded surfaces. There were lots of design elements that made no sense.

      This car was ultimately killed by the fact its interior was cramped. I wish the industry could use my body as a test subject for new luxury cars, because then, they couldn’t make this mistake ever again.

      The Model S is nothing more than a big car with an electric powertrain. The fact it’s BIG places it above the rest – REGARDLESS how fast it is. If only Cadillac wasn’t stupid and launched a 4-door ELR. A $100,000 plug-in 2014 CTS (call it the E-series for “electric”) would definitely sell.

      A lot of richers out there have money to burn and are WHIPPED by left wing media into feeling bad about being successful. Rather than get the most powerful, fastest gas guzzlers they can, they drive “green” cars to stay “hip & trendy” while inspiring good feelings towards them on the road.

      I however…

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        “A lot of richers out there have money to burn and are WHIPPED by left wing media into feeling bad about being successful. Rather than get the most powerful, fastest gas guzzlers they can, they drive “green” cars to stay “hip & trendy” ”

        Disagree, out on the west coast Mercedes and BMW move plenty of AMGs and //M cars to tech industry money.

  • avatar
    vanpressburg

    Li-ion cars were Ponzi scheme. The purpose of it was that green mafia
    get rich and politician get power. Last speech of Al Gore in Ontario
    made mi sick !!!
    The future is hydrogen cars and new nuclear fusion reactors.

  • avatar
    galloping_gael

    I want my bare miracle!

  • avatar

    It’s nice to see a TTAC Staff article with a writer who outed herself :). Welcome to TTAC, Cameron! :)

    David

    • 0 avatar

      Oh, I already outed myself as one of the TTAC Staffbot programmers a while back in the comments from the article about what certain cars and the brahs who drive them say to our newest writer, Caroline. That said, thank you for welcoming me.

  • avatar
    jz78817

    “What do Justin Bieber, Ashton Kutcher and Al Gore all have in common?”

    Who are ‘Three People Who Have Never Been In My Kitchen?’

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    It was my understanding these cars were made with lots of underpinnings from the Cadillac STS. So, it would seem this car was doomed from the start if you are engineering your drivetrain around a chassis with which you have no input. I could be wrong however. I sat in one on a dealers showroom. Nice enough car but I could not get my head wrapped around e 100k + MSRP.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “As for who this bankruptcy filing affects, look no further than your wallet”

    At this point, the bankruptcy makes no difference at all to the taxpayer. The hit was already taken when the DOE loan was sold off at a discount.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Richard Li just threw away $25 million.

    “The Fisker Automotive technology and product development capability will remain a guiding force in the evolution of the automotive industry under Hybrid’s leadership.”

    People with delusions of grandeur always think they’re the missing link for a company’s success. Furthermore, Fisker didn’t even offer new technology; it’s a gussied-up Volt.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      but, but, the celebritards drove them to look “green!!!”

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The whole electric car mandate thing was misbegotten and ill-advised, solely designed to appease the ultra liberal-left greenweenie Democrats, and make a lot of money for the perpetrators of this folly.

      I firmly believe that such cars should be available to anyone who wants to buy one, but they should not be subsidized by the taxpayers. Ditto with electric Golf carts.

      The only carmaker that successfully designed, developed and brought to market a car that truly appealed to buyers was Toyota with its everyman’s Prius lines.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Didn’t Richard Li’s company provide the batteries to Fisker?

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    We are looking at $2 – $4 trillion (factoring legacy costs) for the Bush/NeoCon invasion of Iraq. Which converted Iraq from an enemy of Iran to an ally of Iran (just to be clear, that is a bad thing for national security).

    And now we may lose up to 1/30,000th (the worse case scenario in bankruptcy court) of that amount backing loans for an automaker that made the best looking sedan on the market, and may be salvageable with restructuring.

    I don’t like any waste, fraud and abuse, but this is a trivial drop in the bucket. The real waste, fraud and abuse is in national security. Because anytime someone’s wasteful, corrupt spending is questioned they wrap themselves in the flag.

    These are just tiny examples:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/homeland-security-workers-routinely-boost-pay-with-unearned-overtime-report-says/2013/10/31/3d33f6e4-3fdf-11e3-9c8b-e8deeb3c755b_story.html

    “Take for instance the half-billion dollars [about three times the maximum amount of exposure the government has to Fisker] in Abrams tanks that Congress ordered up for the next two years, or the seven obsolete ships the Navy is being forced to keep.

    The Pentagon says it doesn’t want them, or need them. But taxpayers will keep paying the price.”

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/9/lawmakers-force-pentagon-to-buy-tanks-keep-ships-a/?page=all

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Your political views aside, Fisker is not salvageable with restructuring – not even close.

      This isn’t a matter of a great product being mismanaged. The product itself is grossly defective from a performance and cost perspective, and the market has moved on. Tesla, Nissan, and Chevy are each about 50-100k cars ahead of Fisker, with second- and third-gen stuff in the pipeline.

      And if Fisker ever miraculously fields another car, you can be sure Consumer Reports will vividly recall the example that bricked while in their possession.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        The hybrid powertrain sucks implemented in the Fisker sucks. But it will make an awesome conventional IC car. All aluminum. Room for a front engine, rear transaxle layout.

        It is the best looking, and potentially best performing “4-door coupe” (I hate that term, but it has become a market segment) on the market.

    • 0 avatar
      3Deuce27

      “Because anytime someone’s wasteful, corrupt spending is questioned they wrap themselves in the flag.”

      Here! Here! and a salute to all of that and more.

      Fiscal conservatives, my ass.

      On another note, a dear older friend of mine bought one of these at my suggestion, and I have spent a fair bit of time in and behind the wheel. It is a fun car and nothing I have driven new, lately, has garnered the attention the Fisker gets, and that includes six figure exotics. Though, admittedly, the Ferrari California I spent a several weekends in this past Summer, did attract quite a bit of attention, when we drove it around Seattle/Ballard and out to PR/Kent, but that may have been due to the very attractive, statuesque sixtyish owner when she extracted herself from the unremittingly ugly cartoon design language foisted on the car. But, the sound and the fury of Marenello V-8 sure made up for that, along with an exceedingly composed chassis for a GT.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Bieber, Kutcher, and Gore (sounds like a law firm) can always take their Fiskers to Maximum Bob Lutz’s shop and convert to a conventional Corvette drive train. Or they could trade in the Karma for a finished $200k Destino.


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