Fisker founder to appear before Congress for DOE loan testimony

Article by Anita Panait, on April 25, 2013

Fisker Automotive founder Henrik Fisker is set to go before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on April 24, 2013, where he is expected to label the troubled carmaker as a victim of "a confluence of events" and as a still-salvageable enterprise, according to Tim Burt, the founder’s personal representative.

Fisker is one of the representatives from the carmaker and the government set to appear before Congress to answer questions concerning $193 million in United States Department of Energy loans provided to the carmaker.

According to Burt, Fisker will say that the carmaker "can survive and move forward if it can secure financial and strategic resources, to build on its achievements so far." Fisker will focus his testimony on events that were out of the carmaker’s control, including adverse publicity regarding its two recalls and suspicious fires.

Burt, managing partner at StockWell Group, remarked that the recalls and suspicious fires were a function of "parts sourced from outside suppliers” and as such, they have nothing to do with the technology. Those adverse events combined with the collapse of key battery supplier A123 Systems, as well as the wipeout of Fisker's port stock of completed cars by Superstorm Sandy "led to a drastic loss of revenue," Burt remarked.

Tony Knight, of crisis communications firm Sitrick and Co., remarked that it is his understanding that current Fisker Automotive chief executive Tony Posawatz will not appear before Congress since he was still not with the carmaker when the DOE loan was offered or drawn down.

Knight disclosed that Fisker co-founder Bernhard Koehler will be its representative. Fisker Automotive has been considered on the verge of filing for bankruptcy, especially after it laid off three-fourths of its workforce on April 5, 2013. Fisker also has been consulting with bankruptcy firm Kirkland & Ellis.

Topics: fisker

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