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.
Sources familiar with the process have told Reuters that a group headed by Hong Kong heir and businessman Richard Li will likely emerge as the winner of the Department of Energy’s auction last week of Fisker Automotive’s $168 million debt to the DoE’s Alternative Technologies Vehicle Manufacturing loan program. Final details of the sale are being negotiated and the DoE had said before the auction that the results would not be made public until the deal is consummated. Fisker hasn’t built a car in over a year and it doesn’t have enough cash to pay current outstanding bills. Resolving the debt would be the first step to reviving Fisker.