|2014 Fisker Atlantic (concept sedan)|
Fisker, who has been executive chairman for the past 13 months, wrote in an e-mail that the main reasons for his departure were "several major disagreements" with "Fisker Automotive executive management on the business strategy."
The company hasn't produced a car since last summer and is in desperate need of capital to launch a new model. Fisker Automotive reportedly has been talking to Chinese investors.
"I'm proud of having brought the first luxury plug-in hybrid to market under my leadership," Fisker said in an email interview later Wednesday with Automotive News. "Despite the difficulties, and setbacks, more than many big car companies have to face, Fisker Automotive tackled the issues head on and managed to sell more than 2,000 cars to date."
The move marks the end of his dream of launching his own car company. Fisker was a top design executive for BMW, Ford Motor Co. and Aston Martin before starting Fisker Automotive in 2007.
Tony Posawatz, a former General Motors executive who became president and CEO of Fisker in August 2013, said this morning that he had just been made aware of the resignation. Posawatz previously was the vehicle director for the Chevrolet Volt hybrid.
Asked if Fisker would survive without the founder, Posawatz said, "We're in the midst of some serious negotiating."News reports reported last month that a Chinese holding group, Zhejiang Geely, which current owns Volvo, leads the bidding to take over Fisker Automotive.
Fisker Automotive raised $100 million in private equity investment in September 2012, but the following month, the battery supplier for Fisker's $107,000 USD "Karma" luxury sedan (a company called 123 Systems) entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy, emerging from bankruptcy in January 2013 with a new owner - yet another Chinese supplier Wanxiang Group Company. 123 Systems bankruptcy left Fisker without any battery supplier whatsoever for its vehicles, effectively killing their company.
Fisker's plan to build a cheaper (but not cheap - $55,000 USD) mid-sized EV, a sport sedan called the Atlantic, appear to have also died due to the company's poor financial health. Fisker at one time planned to build the swoopy Atlantic sedan at a shuttered General Motors assembly plant near Wilmington, Delaware. Those plans were canceled after the U.S. Department of Energy canceled most of a $529 million Advanced Vehicle Technology government loan when Fisker Automotive fell far short of production goals for the Karma sedan. It appears today that Fisker will be fully absorbed by the Chinese and likely cease to exist as the "Fisker" brand.
[Edited 2013-03-15 17:18:04]