Henrik Fisker Explains Why He Left Fisker Automotive
March 18, 2013 11:40 AM
Fisker denied that a possible sale to a Chinese firm had anything to do with it
Fisker Automotive's former executive chairman -- who
-- said he didn't leave because of the possibility of Fisker being bought by a Chinese firm.
Henrik Fisker, the co-founder of Fisker Automotive, resigned from his position as executive chairman citing issues with executive management. Many speculated that the possible takeover by a Chinese firm had something to do with his decision, but Fisker confirmed in an interview with
The Detroit News
that this is not the case.
"It's probably the most difficult decision I've ever made, but you know it was a decision that was necessary as I had major disagreements with the current executive management," said Fisker. "It would be wrong to stay.
"It was not specifically about the sale of the company. It was about the business strategy."
Fisker Automotive has been open to selling a majority stake of the company to Chinese firm Geely Automotive in order to fund the development of its next car -- the Atlantic. But this potential decision has been controversial since Geely is a Chinese company and Fisker was funded by the U.S. government for its Karma plug-in.
Fisker received $529 million in
in April 2010. The loans were part of a program to progress development of high-tech vehicles, where Fisker received $169 million for Karma plug-in engineering and $359 million for Nina production. The loans were also meant to revamp a closed General Motors plant in Wilmington, Delaware for Fisker EV production. However, Fisker fell a little behind on its production schedule, and in May 2011,
DOE froze the loans due to "unmet milestones."
Fisker had only drawn $193 million of it at that point.
The company has had other problems too, such as recalls, Hurricane Sandy destroying over 300 Fisker vehicles in New Jersey, and A123 Systems' (its battery supplier) bankruptcy.
"Despite these unbelievable, almost natural catastrophes that were against Fisker Automotive, I still think it proves how fantastic the Fisker team has performed," said Fisker.
The Detroit News
"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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