Hybrid Tech taps former Ford exec Martin Leach to boost Fisker bid

Article by Anita Panait, on February 16, 2014

Confident that it will win the auction for Fisker Automotive’s remaining assets, Hybrid Tech Holding LLC has recruited former Ford Motor Co. executive Martin Leach. Leach, who served as the former president of Ford's European operations, will provide added weight to Hybrid Tech’s management. "I've been working with them for months on a business plan and they have very clear intentions," Leach told Reuters.

Fisker filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2013 and has not built its signature Karma sports car since 2012, no thanks to technical glitches and a cash shortage. Hybrid Tech, which is an affiliate of Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li, has offered $55 million to acquire Fisker, while a unit of Chinese company Wanxiang Group placed an initial bid of around $35 million.

Wanxiang, however, has proposed that Fisker creditors will receive a 20 percent stake in the new Fisker operations. Wanxiang has also argued it could better manage Fisker’s assets.

The carmaker’s creditors have sought to file a case against Li, who was a former Fisker board member and investor, and other directors as well as insiders for allegedly causing the company's financial collapse. Leach is currently chairman of Magma Group, an automotive consultancy he founded.

According to Leach, Hybrid Tech's first task after winning the auction would be to look after existing owners of Fisker cars.  "Then we've got more than 400 suppliers that need to be re-engaged to be able to restart production,” Leach remarked. “That's a big challenge." According to Hybrid, it is exploring a partnership with Boston Power to supply batteries should it win the auction set February 12.

Topics: ford, fisker

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