By on February 7, 2012

Fisker Automotive has laid off a total of 66 people, including 20 at a former GM plant in Delaware, and another 40 contractors in California. The layoffs come as Fisker attempts to re-negotiate loans from the Department of Energy that were contingent on Fisker meeting sales targets for its Karma sedan, which Fisker failed to do.

While the DOE loaned Fisker $509 million, Fisker has only $193 million so far. The money was earmarked to help engineer a new vehicle, dubbed the Nina. Fisker had hoped to employ 2,000 people at the Delaware plant. The Karma has been hampered by a series of delays and false starts, leading to speculation that the project was little more than vaporware. Fisker is also pursuing private equity financing in lieu of government loans.

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29 Comments on “Fisker Announces Layoffs As Government Loans Frozen...”

  • avatar

    Loan’s frozen? Does that mean it ran out of charge?

  • avatar

    Loans frozen? Does that mean it ran out of charge?

  • avatar

    Fisker 2012 = Saab 2011 + Solyndra 2011. The Solyndra equivalency could be mitigated if some other automaker can pick up the Nina plans and somehow save the plant and jobs in Delaware. Not very likely IMHO.

  • avatar

    i could be mixing things up, but isnt the felon who was going to save saab also involved in fisker? well, being a simple minded person that i am, i could have told you that a $80k car would be a non starter, hypothetical hybrid/electric whatever. good luck finding any rich benefactors for that obvious dud, even if they get past this debacle.

  • avatar

    Without getting into the whole electric car thing (thereby disappointing pch101who will get into it anyhow) an extended recession is never a good time to launch a luxury car. As usual in bad economic times, the rich are under attack and won’t making any visiy extravagent purchases. Anyhow they’re going to need fheir money to pay the additional taxes they owe to the little people.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    D*mn, ditch the too soon electrical motivation and put a good IC engine in that beauty. That styling makes pretty much all of our present cars seem pretty ugly.

  • avatar

    Thank god Tesla is still around!!!

    That will show the non believers!!!


    So what will happen to the 2000 workers in Delaware?

    Oh, sorry, from Fiskers web site:
    “We have already created over 700 US jobs in California and Delaware,”

    Will Joe Biden be making any comments?

  • avatar

    At least when Tesla dies Toyota can buy their charred remains for 20 cents on the dollar.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t think Tesla is going to die.

      They’ve sold many actual cars, something like 2000 units. Not Ford volumes, but how many other car startups have done this?

      The Model S is real, and it’s due soon.

      Toyota isn’t stupid enough to use the Tesla EV system if they thought Tesla was a flash in the pan.

      • 0 avatar

        Tesla sold 2,100 Roadsters so far but has zero experience on mass production of vehicle chassis. Remember, they bought sleds from Lotus and installed their drive train in it. The concept of a kit car comes to mind, but this kit included the sheet metal too.

        TSLA has only turned a profit in one quarter in its entire history. $1 million on $20 million in profit. TSLA main revenue continues to come from the sale of electric car credits to other manufacturers, and that gravy train is coming to an end. Over the last five quarters:

        EPS: -0.63 per share ending 9/30/2011
        EPS: -0.60 per share ending 6/30/2011
        EPS: -0.51 per share ending 3/31/2011
        EPS: -0.53 per share ending 12/31/2010
        EPS: -0.38 per share ending 9/30/2011

        So losses are growing each quarter. In the most recent quarter we have numbers, Tesla spent $122.14 million to make $65.08 after tax. Cash on hand and other liquidity is now under about $96 million.

        They have less than a year worth of capital at current cash burn to keep the doors open.

      • 0 avatar

        Delorean produced 9,200+ DMC 12s before running out of government stimulus money. Unlike Tesla and Fisker, he even built them in his own factory instead of contracting their construction to existing auto assemblers.

      • 0 avatar

        “They have less than a year worth of capital at current cash burn to keep the doors open.”

        Tesla has a 9-figure credit line remaining. It has a ways to go.

        Let’s all remember who founded Tesla — a tech entrepreneur. If Musk manages this like a technology play, then his goal will be to flip the company, probably to an automaker such as Toyota. If he can make that exit strategy work, then things will be just fine for him. The company doesn’t necessarily need to be profitable in order for that sort of strategy to succeed.

  • avatar

    This kind of stuff cuts across both political parties. There’s an abandoned Ford plant in Connersville, IN. And there’s a guy who has applied for a Fed. grant so he can design and build a diesel cop car. He intends to design and build the engine too. Never mind that Cummins, who might know something about diesels, is located a few miles down the road. With states and municipalities broke or worse, and the Big 3 as competitors with their repair, parts, etc. networks in place, this scam has no chance in hell of success. Needless to say, the repub. governor, senators and rep. are strong supporters of the grant. The rep. is Mike Pence who is Tea Party, anti-govt hero who is now running for governor.

    • 0 avatar

      I believe the Carbon Motors engine is a BMW unit. Cummins has diesel expertise but not particularly in passenger car applications – the closest to passenger cars is the Dodge pickup engine.

  • avatar

    The Tesla Model S appears to have been designed for medium-volume production well, the Beta reviews have been good, and their costs work out at the volumes they intend to sell for.

    If they spent $500MM developing it, and they need a surplus of $500MM more to develop the successor, and they sell 50,000 of them (5000 a year first-year, 10000 a year 2nd through 5th year, 5000 last year of production), then they need to make $20,000 a car.

    Based on what I saw at their Houston showroom, it doesn’t look like it would cost much more than an Elise to make – there is more aluminum there but less machining. We know the Elise was barely profitable at $40,000 when it came out. The cost difference between a $25,000 battery and a modern midsize car powertrain is probably around $15,000.

    So it has to sell for around $75,000 on average. That’s about what they plan to sell it for.

  • avatar

    Youngman may have a spare $400 million available to invest in Fisker if their bid for Saab doesn’t work out.

  • avatar

    “Fisker is also pursuing private equity financing in lieu of government loans.”

    Fisker shall be looking at Chinese investors.

  • avatar

    I saw a Karma on the road last summer just south of Chrysler’s Auburn Hills HQ. This vehicle is absolutelly gorgeous and I hope that it can survive as an ICE model.

    Now let’s see … if Sergio can get his hands on this and farms the powertrain to Ferrari … no, no, no SRT V10, Ferrari already has the FF. Wait this could be the new Maserati ??? Rats, I gotta get back to work!!

  • avatar

    I know this would never happen in today’s politcial/business environment, but with the fact that the Karma already uses a GM powertrain (less the batteries), wouldn’t this make a good acquisition for GM?

    Unlike the Volt, there could be two flavors of Karma. A regular Karma, with lots of batteries, and Karma Kameleon, with LS9 V8 and something like an e-Assist setup…

    (This was a tongue-in-cheek suggestion, just to be clear.)

    I agree with others, though, it is a fantastic looking car.

  • avatar

    I saw one of these driving in the parking lot at Lenox Mall here in Atlanta on Saturday; it is breathtaking in person. And the fact that it weighs more than 5000 pounds is much less surprising once you see it in the flesh. Just a huge automobile.

    Had dealer plates on it, drove by me twice while I was sitting outside the Starbucks (was the driver just going in circles to gin up interest? Odd guerrilla marketing tactics). It was definitely turning heads. It is convincing as a halo vehicle for electric cars in general, and Fisker in particular.

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