Bob Lutz  (Source:
The company was valued at nearly $2 billion in 2011

Fisker Automotive has received an offer of $20 million from a team comprised of Bob Lutz and Wanxiang Group.

VL Automotive, a venture between former General Motors Co executive Bob Lutz and industrialist Gilbert Villarreal, and China parts maker Wanxiang Group have submitted a proposal to buy Fisker Automotive for $20 million in a prepackaged bankruptcy deal.

The $20 million is a long way away from the company's value nearly two years ago. In December 2011, Fisker said its total capitalization was about $2 billion. 

In April 2010, Fisker received $529 million in DOE loans progress development of high-tech vehicles. 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. 

In March, 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."

To make matters worse, the company was forced to put its U.S. workers on furlough and eventually laid off 75 percent of its workforce (or about 160 employees). Fisker even faced 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.

The cherry on the cake was Fisker's missed DOE payment at the end of April. 

While Fisker has crashed and burned, Tesla Motors, another American electric car company that received federal funding for clean energy from the Obama administration, has managed to pay its entire $465 million federal loan in full nine years earlier than expected. The company's sales for its Model S sedan are impressive and after deciding to issue more stock last week, Tesla used the proceeds to pay off its debt. 

Source: Reuters

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