Fisker lays off 75% of its employees due to financial troubles

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 8, 2013

Almost 75% of Fisker Automotive’s employees in southern California had just been terminated, suggesting just how much financial trouble the company is in. Fisker, which is famous for its plug-in hybrid Karma product, had fired its internal public relations department and has referred publicity to Sitrick And Company, a Los Angeles-based firm.

According to an e-mailed statement, Fisker is hard at work in finding a manufacturing partner but it has hit a point where it had to let go of a major fraction of its workforce. Fisker had met with several workers in its office in Southern California to let them know that this will be their last day at work.

It also stated that it “regrets” being forced to cut its “hardworking and talented people” but that this is a strategic move that it has to undertake in order to maximize the value of Fisker’s core assets.

This move may indicate that Fisker Automotive will soon enter bankruptcy. Fisker has encountered numerous setbacks, beginning with a major recall when cases of faulty Karma battery packs leading to fires were discovered. In some cars, the fires were caused by defective cooling fans. Notably, more cars were destroyed at a dock in a New Jersey port in 2012 when Superstorm Sandy swept the area.

Fisker said that as of October 2012, just 1500 Karma units throughout the world were delivered. Fisker’s sales of the plug-in hybrid Karma is actually its only source of income, if you don’t include government loans and private investments.

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy granted a $528.7 million loan to the company. So far, Fisker has used at least $193 million. The Fisker Karma was named as the 2012 Design of the Year by Automobile magazine due to its attractive styling that was partly designed by former CEO Henrik Fisker.

Fisker Automotive brings you the Fisker Karma, which is the world's first real EVer or Electric Vehicle with Extended Range. It is an expression of what is possible to achieve in the automotive industry.

Karma loosely means the reward of good deeds in Hindi. And in that spirit, the new car allows those who appreciate performance and style to enjoy a vehicle that is also environment-friendly, fuel-efficient, and has great emissions performance. These things are beyond the capacity of conventional luxury cars today. Needless to say, the Fisker Karma combines elegant and stunning design with outstanding performance, very low fuel consumption, as well as zero emissions on demand. This new four-seat car reflects the brand's promise of building Uncompromised Responsible Luxury automobiles that will satisfy your passion for driving.

Fisker Karma, which features cutting edge technology from a brand-new company, will be available in showrooms this summer. By the time it arrives in the market, it will be setting a new time-to-market benchmark – marking record interval from the time it was introduced in 2008 as a concept in 2008 – and creating the Premium Luxury Electronic Vehicles segment.

The new EV can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 5.9 seconds, thanks to its proprietary EVer powertrain, which got its inspiration from military stealth vehicles. However, the car will be able to achieve an equivalent of over 100 mpg and emissions of 83 g/km CO2 in real-world driving annually.

The Fisker Karma will be able to run entirely on electric power generated by rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The battery will allow you to drive the car for up to 50 miles or 80 km, after which a 175 kW generator that's driven by a 2-liter turbocharged gasoline engine will extend this distance or range for an extra 250 miles or 403 km. The car's total distance capacity between recharge/refuel can go up to 300 miles.

You can get the world-class Fisker Karma for $95,900 before a $7,500 federal tax incentive, according to U.S. MSRP or the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. If you are in Europe, you can get the car for €85,500 SRP. The car is going to be competitive against the more conventional luxury sedans in the market such as the Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid, the BMW 750i ActiveHybrid, the Audi A8 TDI, and the Porsche Panamera S. What's more, customers will get tremendous value over other super sedans like the $200,000 Aston Martin Rapide and the $120,000 Maserati Quattroporte.

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