By on May 24, 2013

Henrik Fisker - Picture courtesy

Henrik Fisker paired up with Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li to get his company back. Fisker is a co-founder of severely troubled Fisker Automotive. Li and Fisker are trying to buy the U.S. government loan to Fisker at a big discount. Henrik Fisker was ousted in March.

Another group, China’s Wanxiang with Bob Lutz as a friendly face, is trying to buy Fisker for $20 million.

Around Fisker Automotive hangs a $171 million loan payable to the DOE. The DOE is currently looking into the legal ramifications of selling the loan, Reuters heard. Last month, the DOE seized $21 million from Fisker’s bank account to apply against the first priority loan. Then, there are payables to suppliers.

Just-Auto recently wrote, and I wholeheartedly agree:

“As any rational person in the industry understands, the odds of any automaking start-up succeeding in the long run are about the equivalent of winning the national lottery: it could, statistically, happen, but in reality, it almost certainly won’t. In fact, you might say that starting a firm to make automobiles in hopes of building the company into a global brand is a task mostly for masochists and the deluded.”


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24 Comments on “Henrik Fisker Called, He Wants His Company Back...”

  • avatar

    If he’s willing to pay more to the creditors than anyone else, he should get it. Pretty simple.

  • avatar

    I don’t believe Henrik was ousted? He quit, knowing what was coming.

    By separating himself from the company before they completely went under, it makes the possibility more feasible that he would be able to buy it back for pennies on the dollar. If he had still been in charge, I am not sure that would pass the smell test for the bankruptcy courts (or the DOE). I could be wrong about this, but I was expecting that he would make a bid for it.

  • avatar

    A Manta Ray styled EV.

    All they’ve gotta do is make them roomier, add a better Infotainment system and heated/cooled seats with massage – maybe even licence Tesla’s battery technology… and I think Fisker could work.

    Every car company goes through growing pains. If they really want to do something different they need to offer a $50,000 Fisker model to put the EV luxury back on main street – you remember – where Tesla broke away from.

    • 0 avatar

      Growing pains?

      Fisker essentially repackaged the Volt drivetrain in a vehicle that is less reliable (how many fires and breakdowns?), more expensive, less economical, and ridiculously proportioned. It’s a real-life cartoon.

      If you want the ICE backup to a battery pack with “luxury”, then the Cadillac ELR is for you.

      Fisker doesn’t have a chance. Consumers are ruthless jurors; the fact that Tesla is doing so well right now is testament to their recognition of this fact, and the ability to maneuver around the obstacles. Fisker basically put the artist’s rendition on the road, and that’s just not enough.

    • 0 avatar

      There is no way they can make a “main street” version to compete with the competition. They cannot realize the same savings those guys have. We all love to wonder at the legacy costs of the big auto makers, but they can have that legacy cost because they have lots of advantages over start ups.

      • 0 avatar

        If it can’t come to mainstreet, then fine. But considering they started at $89,000, there’s no reason they can’t make them slightly more spacious and actually sell em.

        • 0 avatar

          is not easy to make the room bigger inside an already built house.

          One of the Li brother never graduated from the famous stanford university, only to be found out when he took a company public and all his credentials had to be scrutinized that didn’t do well with his family’s stellar reputation. Basically a cheat and too much chutz pah!
          Should Rico got interested in this deal will be lots of money to be make, but it seems to be slim pickings to put more lipsticks inorder the make this car sells.

        • 0 avatar

          I don’t know how cramped they are, but I am not obese, I met the shortness standards for a Kiowa helicopter (barely), and I don’t fit in a lot of cars or even some best selling aircraft. The reality is that you lose a small margin of buyers by actually being too small inside. Seeming too small is worse, but when you are low volume, it just doesn’t matter that much.

        • 0 avatar

          More space doesn’t change the fact that people know they catch fire. A lot.

          Fiskers have so many problems, simple tweaks can’t save them.

  • avatar

    At least winning the lottery can theoretically be done for about $175M, if one could find a practical way to buy one of every possible number combination. Much cheaper than launching a car line.

  • avatar

    Henrik wants his company back, hmm, he did so well with it last time…

  • avatar

    Not a good sign.

    Richard Li’s money came from his rich dad. His own investment performance ranges from complete disaster to slightly worse than the broad market.

    • 0 avatar

      Rico did tried his Schlieffen plan to take over Air Canada and probably tried very hard to detatch the unfunded liabilities of the employees pension etc. ond

      In the end thank God he walked away with tail behind him.
      What he did to some of the share holders wasn’t too impressive and neither beyond reproach.

  • avatar

    As an American taxpayer I have this to say,’I want my money back…in full’.

  • avatar

    I do not agree that it is almost impossible to start a new car company and eventually become big player. Just ask Hyundai and Kia (and even Daewoo)how it can be done, or even better – right at this moment we are witnessing how several global auto companies – future market leader are being created in China (while established companies in Europe and US go out of business or become Chinese companies).

    I can agree that it is very unlikely in US because of hostile environment towards any new or old business big or small. But even in US Tesla may proof that chances are more like 1 to 10 rather than 1 to million. It is possible to start global company from scratch but land of opportunity is China and not USA anymore let alone quagmire called EU.

  • avatar

    I want Bob Lutz’s v8 version of the Fisker…same great design, with real performance.

    • 0 avatar

      Same here but the Fisker deserves a nice over the top V12, a 10.5L 2 valve V12 making 700+ hp and to make the greenies happy they could add some sort of KERS to the car so that it has Bugatti Veyron acceleration for a little bit.

      • 0 avatar

        Something tells me if you put that sort of power in a Fisker, it would rip itself apart. They’ve proven themselves time and again that they aren’t exactly well-designed on the inside.

        • 0 avatar

          Probably, but if somebody were to go to that extent, I think a very substantial redesign would be in order which would be a great time to address those issues.

        • 0 avatar

          Also, does the this fire-breathing Karma have enough traction to translate 700HP worth of power into forward motion?

          Or does it just mean you do a lot of burnouts?

          With that amount of power, AWD and traction control might be needed to make the car work.

          (On the green end of the vehicle engineering optimization spectrum, this kind of thing really isn’t a problem!)

      • 0 avatar

        “Same here but the Fisker deserves a nice over the top V12, a 10.5L 2 valve V12 making 700+ hp and to make the greenies happy they could add some sort of KERS to the car so that it has Bugatti Veyron acceleration for a little bit.”

        The Fiskar Karma hasn’t made us “greenies” happy since their poor MPG and MPGE numbers were released. The Karma was never going for the efficiency minded (even the rich and efficiency minded), so I don’t think that putting 700HP worth of fire-breathing dead-dinosaur power under the hood would do anything other than get guys like you interested. Us “greenies” wrote off this thing long ago.

        Tesla, on the other hand, makes a car which claims good efficiency and great driving. It’s intended for rich people who are interested in technology and efficiency. I understand that, even if I can’t afford it.

  • avatar

    What I never got, and I know this is a bit off topic, but I thought about it in regards to the idea that a new car company simply wont make it–why doesnt someone come out with a cheap, safe car with decent features and sell it for years. Just keep rolling it out. People want and need cheap transportation. A basic, boxy Germanic looking car with a bit of style and with 4cyl ~30-35 mpg, AC, PS, Cruise—etc. With economies of scale–sell it for like $10K. Maybe use parts from cars already in production or that were in production (or same specs?)
    I’m far from completely knowledgeable on these things so feel free to shoot down my idea. HAAHAHAHHAHA.

    • 0 avatar

      The problem with starting out trying to compete on the low end is that it’s incredibly hard to meet the economies of scale and capital advantages of the bigger players. Your version of the Kia Soul will cost more and be from a no name company.

      OTOH, if you go for high profit, low volume designs, you have less capital requirements and can sell to people with a lower utility for cash who will shell out for something unique or different.

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