|2014 Fisker Atlantic (concept sedan)|
Fisker Automotive, the maker of the $100,000 USD electric hybrid Fisker Karma luxury sedan owned by several high-profile Hollywood stars, is about to file bankruptcy, according to automotive press reports today. Without any prior notice, Fisker laid off about 80 percent of its workforce yesterday, At the company's Anaheim, California headquarters, 160 employees were terminated without any severance (accrued vacation days excepted). About 50 high-level management personnel remain employed, as the company desperately tries to sell itself to foreign investors, but has now also retained bankruptcy attorneys to handle the wind-down of Fisker's business. Fisker's plan to build electric-hybrid cars at a shuttered former General Motors plant near Wilmington, Delaware has also evaporated (photo of Fisker's "Atlantic" concept sedan above - it was to be built in Delaware).
Fisker failed to notify the affected company employees of their terminations at least 60 days ahead of time, as required by the U.S. Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, known also as the WARN Act. The suit also said Fisker has failed to pay the employees the wages and other benefits they would have earned in the 60 days following the layoffs. The suit accused Fisker of violating laws set by both the federal WARN Act, and the state of California's WARN Act. Very poor corporate behavior by Fisker's remaining senior management treating their employee's in such a uncaring manner - lawsuit is deserved in this case, IMHO. Company founder and namesake Henrik Fisker resigned from Fisker Automotive last month after disagreeing with other senior managers about how to handle the company's bankruptcy or sale of its assets to Chinese investors. The Chinese investors now have no apparent interest in buying Fisker as a whole, but may try to scoop up some parts of Fisker's engineering and design through the U.S. bankruptcy court.
I'd hate to be one of the owner's of these "white elephant" $100,000+ vehicles now that the company has gone bust - although the car may become a collector's item in the future. The maker of Fisker's battery packs (a company called A123) went bankrupt last year, foreshadowing the future (or lack thereof) of Fisker Automotive.