Fisker Automotive Forced to Put U.S. Employees on Furlough
March 28, 2013 12:16 PM
comment(s) - last by
Fisker is trying to save a few dollars while it looks for investors
Fisker Automotive's spot between a rock and a hard place looks to be safely secure as it continues looking for financing solutions, and has to make major cuts in the meantime.
Fisker has placed its U.S. workers on furlough this week to try and keep costs down while it searches for an investor. This means that the U.S. workforce will have a temporary, unpaid leave until the company gets back on its feet.
"This is a common practice, particularly in the automotive industry, to manage costs and operations based on current activity levels and commercial requirements," said Fisker.
Fisker has more than enough issues on its plate right now. In April 2010,
Fisker received $529 million in
, which were part of a program to progress development of high-tech vehicles. 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.
Due to these money issues, Fisker is having a hard time securing funds to make its second car -- the Fisker Atlantic. Fisker is now looking for investors to help out with the financial situation so Atlantic production can begin.
Fisker's investor solution has drawn a lot of criticism though, because two potentials have been Chinese companies --
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Dongfeng Motor Group Co. This has rubbed the U.S. government the wrong way, since Fisker received U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund its Karma plug-in.
The Karma itself has had to be recalled in the past too, as battery supplier A123 Systems (which
last year) vowed to replace
nearly 600 Karma batteries for $55 million in 2012.
A123 Systems, which
filed for bankruptcy
in October 2012, was
acquired by Chinese firm
for about $260 million in December.
Earlier this month, Fisker's problems escalated to a new level when Henrik Fisker, who co-founded Fisker Automotive in 2007,
stepped down as executive chairman
citing "several major disagreements" with "Fisker Automotive executive management on the business strategy."
To make matters worse, Fisker Automotive is expected to make a loan payment to the DOE next month.
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RE: House of cards
3/28/2013 7:59:48 PM
It's not about whether the government should or shouldn't invest in industry, it's whether the investment is sound. If the government never made any contribution to industry, we wouldn't be the land of opportunity you and your friends like to brag about. And it's easy to call an investment unwise AFTER it fails, but it's not always easy to cherry-pick them before...yes, even when you vote along party lines.
RE: House of cards
3/29/2013 4:12:32 PM
Well, it's obviously a bad investment if the only way to get the investment made is by forcing taxpayers to do it. If it were a "sound" investment, there would be no need for government loans, there would be plenty of money from private investors since there would be the potential of some return on the investment. The very fact that government financing is needed to continue operations should indicate that it is not a sound investment!
RE: House of cards
3/29/2013 4:14:26 PM
Please elaborate on your argument that forcing others to pay for select industries at the point of a gun makes this the land of opportunity? The opportunity to have money taken from you to give to politically connected benefactors?
"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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