Tesla Death Watch 36: Fisker Birth Watch?

Jonny Lieberman
by Jonny Lieberman

Tesla Motors recently closed it’s Michigan research facility and fired about a quarter of its workforce. The Silicon Valley start-up might be totally broke and searching for Uncle Sam’s teat, too. Let me rephrase that– they may not have enough cash to remain viable AND they’re looking for a federal bailout/hand out. As you also know (maybe, if you care), Henrik Fisker is set to build a hybrid luxury automobile called the Karma. [ED: not a hybrid between a Mercedes SL/BMW and an Aston, as previous.] Tesla hired Fisker to design their WhiteElephant sedan, After the two decided to part company, Tesla sued Fisker for stealing trade secrets (as if). Fisker won the suit via binding arbitration. They savored the judge’s Tesla tongue-lashing, pocketed a nice chunk of cash for their troubles and publicized the Hell out of the outcome. Long story short, Tesla and Fisker hate each others’ start-up guts. And now Fisker’s announced it’s opening a 34,000-square-foot facility in Pontiac Michigan, good for about 200 employees, where Fisker is planning on building it’s gorgeous four-door Karma hybrid. Fisker says it will offer the Karma in the fourth quarter of 2009. Meanwhile Tesla’s still struggling to produce enough Roadsters to fulfil customers’ deposits. That’s gotta hurt.

Jonny Lieberman
Jonny Lieberman

Cleanup driver for Team Black Metal V8olvo.

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4 of 7 comments
  • John Horner John Horner on Nov 11, 2008

    At least Fisker has enough experience in the automobile industry to be aware of the challenges he faces and to have contacts throughout the industry. Tesla, on the other hand, is full of people who don't know squat about the car business ... but think their genius will carry the day. What has Tesla really done? Off the shelf LiIon batteries + off the shelf propulsion system + existing Lotus platform + gobs of cash = Still not a real car.

  • M_o_s M_o_s on Nov 12, 2008

    "Research facility"?

  • Stein X Leikanger Stein X Leikanger on Nov 12, 2008
    Research facility? That's where Tesla did its "Will if float?" or "Will it blend?" work.
  • Tesla deathwatcher Tesla deathwatcher on Nov 12, 2008

    I don't think Fisker is going to do any better than Tesla. Problem is that it's hard to develop a new car and get it on the roads without spending a huge amount of money. Henrik Fisker knows how to design a beautiful car. Can he build a serial hybrid drive-train that works reliably? That's the test. No one has done that yet. No one.