Fisker Furloughs 160 More Employees

This morning at 8 am Pacific time, Fisker Automotive laid off an additional 160 of its employees.

This report comes trailing similar grim news that around 200 had been laid off – or as Fisker’s PR team had phrased it, “furloughed” and bankruptcy was being considered

Word has it a mere 53 employees remain out of the Anaheim-based company that once boasted over 400. Confirmation or further details have not been available as those cut in the latest cost-saving measure reportedly include the entire public relations team.

Fisker is facing a deadline later this month to make a payment on its U.S. Department of Energy loan on approximately $193 million.

It has sought investors and possible buyers for the distressed company that has not produced its first and only car, the Karma, since last summer.

The actual list of bad news, and things that otherwise did not go according to plan for the start up maker of plug-in hybrids is too long to list.

Few observers see a way now in which bankruptcy will not be how things go.

On paper, the company had good ideas and intended to proliferate affordable plug-in hybrids, and this is to its credit.

Fisker was heavily vetted by the government prior to its being given a low-interest loan, but the loan was pulled out from it last February, the government said, due to missed production deadlines.

Multiple reports also said the loan was never re-negotiated for Fisker due to pressure from political opponents to the prospect of loaning green businesses taxpayer money.

Further, Fisker’s Karma was expensive, not overwhelmingly stellar in a few key areas, and a niche product among niche products.

It’s a risky business starting a car company in today’s climate.

We’ll let you know more on this story when we learn more.

UPDATE:

3:55 p.m. Eastern Time

Statement of Fisker Automotive Inc., Friday, April 5, 2013

Over the last several months, Fisker Automotive Inc. has been considering strategic alternatives that would allow the Company work through its current financial challenges.

Throughout this process our primary goal has been to maximize the core value of the Fisker technology and the business that we have created.

Our efforts to secure a strategic alliance or partnership are continuing in earnest, but unfortunately we have reached a point where a significant reduction in our workforce has become necessary.

Today, Fisker met with a group of employees in our Southern California office to inform them that this is their last day with the company. Yesterday, we met with a core group of employees in Southern California to express our desire that they remain with the company while we continue to address the challenges before us. We expect that at the end of the day we will have retained approximately 25 percent of our workforce.

The Company regrets having to terminate any of its hardworking and talented people. But this was a necessary strategic step in our efforts to maximize the value of Fisker’s core assets.

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