Is Bankruptcy Next For Fisker Automotive?

The documents are drawn up, and Reuters reports Fisker Automotive could file for bankruptcy protection as soon as this week as pressures loom.

Bad news and what-went-wrong stories abound at present, and these make previous times of mere upsets like unexpected Karma price increases, delays, recalls, negative reviews, and lost Energy Department loans look like the good old days.

Stories are linked following, and include details on three lawsuits Fisker has been hit with this month, that Fisker was just awarded only 11 percent of the amount it sought from former battery supplier A123 Systems, and that Fisker must make its first installment on a $193 million Energy Department loan in a few days.

One suit, reported by GIGAOM, was from Fisker’s landlord which said five days ago Fisker has five days to pay $174,000 in rent for April or it will be evicted.

Another is a class-action suit on behalf of over three quarters of its employees it let go without being given 60-days notice under the WARN act.

Another suit also reported by GIGAOM is from its Web designer alleging Fisker owes $535,000 in unpaid bills.

The company has no revenues coming in, is estimated to have $20 million cash on hand, and was waiting for the outcome of a suit of its own against the former A123 Systems now re-named B456.

Fisker had sought $139.9 million from its former battery supplier in Delaware bankruptcy court. Of this, $48.7 million was for breach of warranty, and $91.2 million was to compensate Fisker for A123’s failure to fulfill its contract.

The judge threw out the $91.2 million claim, and awarded but $15 million out of the primary claim to poor Fisker.

On Monday, Earth Day, Fisker is due to pay $20.2 million as its first installment on the $193 million it borrowed through an Energy Department loan, according to the Wall Street Journal.

And last week, the Wall Street Journal separately reported House Republicans are asking for a hearing that is scheduled April 24.

This call to reckoning, according to Autoblog, will see Darrell Issa (R-CA) inquire of Fisker officials, including now-departed founder Henrik Fisker, CEO Tony Posawatz and COO Bernhard Koehler.

Issa told Automotive News that Fisker “is a design company, not a manufacturing company. It was destined to fail from the beginning. The greater concern is, does this affect more viable companies, whether they received loans or not?”

The rhetoric has been flying, and will continue no doubt. In our observation, although certainly Fisker had its issues, it has not always been fairly represented, and has often been painted in a bad-to-the-worst possible light. No doubt as things have been, so shall they continue. And no doubt there is more fodder than ever for those who wish to pile it on.

But could things have gone differently? What would it have taken for Fisker to still be up and running, even giving Tesla a run for its money? Even if its implementation was faulty, and missteps were taken, were its ideas for series hybrids good at all?

Where did Fisker go wrong? Was it nothing but a fiasco to begin with? Is Issa right?

Or is the actual truth somewhere in the middle?