Joel Ewanick is the new interim chief of global sales and marketing of Fisker Automotive. Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher said that the 52-year-old Ewanick will replace industry veteran 58-year-old Richard Beattie who has recently announced his retirement. Ormisher said that Ewanick, the ousted General Motors' global marketing chief, has been working with the maker of luxury plug-in hybrids for at least six weeks as a marketing consultant.
Ewanick will stay in this position until Fisker finds a full-time replacement. Fisker hired Beattie, who used to work for Ford, Mazda and Jaguar, as its chief commercial officer last December. In a statement to Automotive News, Fisker CEO Tony Posawatz wished Beattie well in his retirement and thanked him for his “valuable contribution” to grow the Fisker brand and its worldwide sales in the past year.
He added that Ewanick’s auto industry experience and knowledge will guide them through the interim period as the company works to find a long-term successor. Ormisher didn’t say if Ewanick is one of the candidates to be Beattie's full-time replacement. GM fired Ewanick last July for the botched handling of a controversial sponsorship deal with English soccer club Manchester United.
Since then, Ewanick has served as the consultant for several companies in the automotive industry, such as TrueCar.com, a source said. Ewanick’s appointment at Fisker will reunite him with Posawatz, previously the Chevrolet Volt chief engineer. He left GM last July. He was then named as Fisker's CEO in August. The source said that Ewanick considered Posawatz’s presence in the company as a major factor to be a part of Fisker.
Given that the Karma is the first model to come from Fisker Automotive, it was developed under the brand’s very own principle of Sustainable and Accountable Design. With this, there is the expectation that the Karma will symbolize the automobile industry’s big leap forward. As a company that manufactures cars, Fisker knows that beginning with developing, going to building, and all the way to marketing, and even disposing cars, a lot of energy and resources are needed.
Since it is starting from scratch, this gives Fisker the chance to find a way to improve how cars are made and with it, change how the world views automakers. The brand is therefore developing to be a company that is accountable to the environment and that aims to help with sustainability. Thus, not only is it finding ways to lower its own carbon footprint but it is also looking into lowering the impact to the environment while improving the efficiency of the whole value chain.
Fisker said that the Karma, and even future models, will be available for purchase through a worldwide network of independent, respectable, and established retailer. These same retailers will also be where owners can have their Karma serviced. Presently, 45 locations in the U.S. have been identified with the same number expected for the European market. According to Fisker, while the retail network in Europe is still being developed, the brand will be looking into importers to manage it.
These include Nellemann, which is based in Copenhagen, Denmark, BD Otomotive on Istanbul, Turkey, and Emil Frey Group located in Zurich, Switzerland. Completing its European presence will be Fisker Italia, which is in Merano, Italy. Fisker is prepared to go to China as well, having entered into a non-exclusive distribution agreement with China Grand Automotive. The agreement was signed in December 2010 in Shanghai.