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The lawsuit accuses Fisker of not giving employees 60 days notice before the mass layoffs

Fisker Automotive has been on the lookout for a buyer in order to stay afloat, but the automaker is running out of both time and options -- resulting in major employee layoffs.

Fisker announced Friday that it had laid off 75 percent of its staff, which equates to about 160 employees. 

The automaker didn't provide any severance payments or formally alert California about the layoffs. It did, however, pay employees for unused vacation time.

"Our efforts to secure a strategic alliance or partnership are continuing in earnest, but unfortunately we have reached a point where a significant reduction in our workforce has become necessary," Fisker Automotive said in a statement.

"We expect that at the end of the day we will have retained approximately 25 percent of our workforce. The company regrets having to terminate any of its hardworking and talented people. But this was a necessary strategic step in our efforts to maximize the value of Fisker's core assets."

As if this wasn't bad enough, Fisker is now facing a federal lawsuit that accuses the company of not giving employees advanced notice of the mass layoffs. Under the U.S. Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, workers are supposed to have 60 days notice before being laid off. 

Fisker could have to pay the employees the wages they would've earned in that 60-day period. 

The lawsuit was filed Friday in the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, California. 

Fisker had placed its U.S. workers on furlough a couple of weeks ago to try and keep costs down while it searches for an investor. This means that the U.S. workforce had a temporary, unpaid leave until the company got back on its feet. 

In April 2010, Fisker received $529 million in DOE loans, 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 is seen as an issue because 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 went bankrupt last year and was later acquired by Chinese firm Wanxiang Group for about $260 million) vowed to replace nearly 600 Karma batteries for $55 million in 2012. 
Last month, Fisker's things started getting worse for Fisker 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."

Fisker Automotive is expected to make a loan payment to the DOE on April 22.

Source: The Detroit News

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RE: Again
By Drexial on 4/8/2013 2:57:31 PM , Rating: 2
Screw it, I'm just going to copy and paste this to every article I see this same argument come up in. this was from Fridays article about Tesla... this is just going to keep happening, and I will just keep making the point till it doesn't come up anymore. I'll just merge the two posts I made, might not be as coherent, but the points are there.

I don't understand how the same arguments pop up every article. This is a start up company with a product that has start up costs with a developing product. EVERYTHING has been a toy for the rich before they get cheep enough for the masses.

Go ahead and tell me a product that went straight into mass production for everyone and was affordable for everyone on release.

The Model T was not the first car, mobile phone companies didn't start with plans offering a free phone, you couldn't snag a 50" 1080p LCD from target when they first hit the market. Hell when 720p plasmas first went on the market, you could have bought a Model S with how much they cost.

This is also only the companies second product, and the first one was $110,000 and that was a shared platform with Lotus. This is a completely fresh platform built from the rubber to the roof in house at Tesla. It gets 3 times the range and is larger better performing and can seat up to 6. and costs 30k less on the high end. These cars are only going to get cheaper as battery production and technology advances.

People keep saying that batteries need to advance before this becomes viable. Well there needs to be a demand for them to put money into advancing them. That demand is at first going to cost the early adopters. Then it will trickle down to the every day man.

They have already stated that after the X there are plans for a more economical car. I believe the target was under $20k. Which given it would be smaller and lighter, I could see them easily getting fiesta/focus sized car over 200 miles in range for less then $20k by the time that comes to.

I would say that the Model S is at least equivalent to the 5 series as far as how well equipped it is.

As far as having a car for under $20k. It would only need half the HP of the lowest optioned Model S, giving it around 150 HP, which is about average for a Focus/Cruze sized car. The battery wouldn't need to be as strong given the reduced power, this would also reduce weight, which would in turn require less power from the battery. Figure a car weighing between 2800-3200 lbs. I cant wait for instant torque in a car like that. Swap in the motors from a Model S, tweak the software, upgrade the batteries. There will be a future, and it will be an interesting one for electric cars.

I see this being possible fairly soon, of course with inflation that goal might be more of a $20k car when it comes out.

RE: Again
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2013 3:53:19 PM , Rating: 2
You only have to look at the Volt to know that it isn't true that a cheaper electric car will be affordable. The Volt is still $35,000 even with the subsidies. Course you're still paying a payment of far more than a $35,000 car would imply. Sure removing the engine would lower its cost but would make the range only 40-50 miles. So you need to double the battery size at least which would probably cost more than removing the engine would save. You might get the subsidized cost down to $30,000. But even that is too much for a compact car for most people. And you're still talking over a decade to pay off the difference between that and a Cruze.

RE: Again
By bug77 on 4/8/2013 5:54:49 PM , Rating: 3
People keep saying that batteries need to advance before this becomes viable. Well there needs to be a demand for them to put money into advancing them.

This is another argument that keep returning, so I'll repeat myself, too.

Battery development is not a new industry that just came along with the advent of the electric vehicle. This industry is over 100 years old. Since the advent of LiPo and LiIon, nothing ground breaking has hit the consumer. And that was over a decade ago and based on technology from the 70s.
I don't know why people think that by throwing money at the problem, it will solve itself in a few years; you were saying something a little different, but my point stands: batteries will not change any time soon.

RE: Again
By mike66 on 4/8/2013 8:35:07 PM , Rating: 2
They already have advanced recently, they have found that putting broken carbon nano tube fibers in lithium based batteries reduces the charging time so rapid charging has become viable.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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