Fisker Automotive Lays Off 12 More Delaware Workers, Assembly Plant Reportedly Empty
April 18, 2012 12:10 PM
The Delaware plant is "absolutely empty" according to an employee that was laid off last week
Amidst growing issues with
from the government,
Fisker Automotive has laid off 12 more workers
from its Delaware factory.
The Delaware layoffs occurred just last Friday, where 12 engineers and maintenance technicians were let go. According to Fisker, it's currently only able to keep a small maintenance team at the plant to maintain and watch over it.
"We have always had a flexible business model that allows us to scale up and down as work demands," said Russell Datz, Fisker spokesman. "As we ramp up the project again, we will add a new headcount. We've accomplished a lot at the plant, using more than 40 local contract firms to recycle old material and equipment. The plant is now ready for the next phase of installing new production equipment."
However, one of Fisker's laid-off employees described the Delaware Fisker plant as "absolutely empty."
Jeffrey Garland, a former aide for Sen. Bill Roth (R-Del.) who took charge of community affairs and business development for Fisker in Delaware, was one of the employees laid off last week. He said Fisker had hauled away used equipment, but didn't install the equipment required to build the
$47,000 Atlantic hybrid sedan
, which is Fisker's second electric-hybrid car. This vehicle was supposed to start production later this year, but has been put on hold due to financial issues with the government.
"All of us who were there hoped we were still adding value," said Garland. "I think what happened was the budget numbers are so tight right now and they're working so hard to preserve as much cash as they can that something had to give. We're not making a car in Wilmington right now, so given that situation, it was an obvious place to make a cut."
The last year hasn't been too kind to Fisker. Last May, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
blocked its loans
previously provided to the automaker in 2010. Fisker had received a total of $529 million where $169 million went toward
Fisker's $102,000 Karma plug-in
engineering and another $359 million went toward the Nina midsize sedan. The DOE has blocked those loans for nearly a year now, and Fisker has been looking for alternatives to DOE funding in the meantime.
The automaker, which entered Delaware in 2009, had received $21.5 million in grants and loans from the state and has collected about $18 million of it so far to keep the idle factory maintained.
Last week's 12 lay-offs were not the first this year. In February 2012, Fisker announced that
26 employees in the same factory were laid off
and work on the auto factory had halted.
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