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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Brian you scared away dozens if not hundreds of customers with your YouTube videos. I ran into many posts online of people who said they had seen your videos and got a poor quality opinion of the Karma and lost interest in it, even in the last few months well after most of the glitches were resolved.

You (along with Jalopnik and Consumer Reports) hurt Fisker's sales and revenue well after they had addressed the reliability of the Karma to the point they don't have enough money to relaunch the software interface you desperately wanted fixed. The best thing you could do for Fisker, or could have done many months ago, is take down your old videos and put up an updated review!

I know you're a great communicator and viewers like your detailed analysis of the car, but you need to apply that skill in videos that don't trash the company so much it goes bankrupt!
 

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I was planning on updating my review once they updated the Command Center. But a year later it's still the same, so there was nothing to do a new review of. In my initial review I didn't even go into the reliability issues with the car, so there wasn't any point in a new review to even discuss that.

It's a shame so many people perceived that review as negative, because it wasn't. I simply covered the good and bad, and it seems to be human nature to ignore good things that people say, and only focus on the bad things. I did give the car a B+ and said that it could be an A with some tweaking.
 

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Brian you scared away dozens if not hundreds of customers with your YouTube videos. I ran into many posts online of people who said they had seen your videos and got a poor quality opinion of the Karma and lost interest in it, even in the last few months well after most of the glitches were resolved.

You (along with Jalopnik and Consumer Reports) hurt Fisker's sales and revenue well after they had addressed the reliability of the Karma to the point they don't have enough money to relaunch the software interface you desperately wanted fixed. The best thing you could do for Fisker, or could have done many months ago, is take down your old videos and put up an updated review!

I know you're a great communicator and viewers like your detailed analysis of the car, but you need to apply that skill in videos that don't trash the company so much it goes bankrupt!

Totally disagree. I saw Brian's videos prior to purchasing the car. If anybody is to be blamed for car's poor sales is their manufacturer for not testing their product prior to releasing it. Brian's videos enabled me to make an informed purchase decision, based on comparing pluses and minuses of the car not based on emotions about car. The videos were excellent reviews and I am very sorry I did not see such reviews prior to purchasing Ferrari 360 long time ago.

So this Pythagoras' angle of putting blame for poor sales onto unhappy consumer is very misleading and does not compute.
 

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One other thing worth noting is that if you look at the comments on that YouTube video you'll see that I aggressively defended Fisker anytime anyone made a disparaging comment.
 

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I agree with Pythagoras, I believe Brian lost a lot of sales for Fisker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Brian I realize you intended the review to be balanced, and some people interpret it that way, but many do not. That's why marketing is typically superficially positive because most people don't buy things when their skepticism is turned up. You go over the panel fit issues and interior finish issues in minute detail.

And my second point is, that under LaSorda Fisker did the very hard engineering work of fixing and testing all the stuff they had insufficiently tested at launch. But the automotive press refused to do the very easy work of reporting the turnaround because, for political reasons, they wanted Fisker to fail.

I'm sorry guys this startup took on one of the most complicated consumer products ever, bungled a few things but if the press can't be forgiving of ANY initial flaws then that makes investment in future startups of this type unimaginably risky. What are the chances of putting together a perfect team to put together a car absolutely perfectly on the first try, with perfect test, marketing, all aspects. Even Tesla didn't do much better on their first try.
 

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Let's keep some perspective here: Brian isn't the reason Fisker is failing.

Nothing Brian said in his videos was untrue. He was either stating facts or explicitly expressing his opinion as an early owner of the car of its strengths and weaknesses. He also routinely updated the comments on the video and noted that the car is more stable now than when he made it.

While it may well be true that some people viewed these videos and came away with a diminished appreciation for the car, that's only because they were more informed consumers. I'm still looking at a static, non-functional Solar screen, and I'm still dealing with excruciatingly slow performance and response time from the command center. Aren't you?

Brian was (and is) one of Fisker's earliest and most vocal supporters (he created the Fisker Owners Club online community, which he gave to Fisker who promptly did nothing with it) and it's simply unfair to shoot the messenger.

Brent
 

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As I said earlier, if they had gotten that new Command Center update out I would have done a new review, but since nothing has changed there was nothing to write a new review of.

You know, any one of you guys could have done a review just as easily as I did, so if you had a beef with mine you should have done your own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's not that easy Brian. Youtube has hundreds of Karma videos but yours floated to the top thanks to well -- your apparent authenticism? Would be very hard to displace that or put a dent in it. The top reviews get what several thousand views a day, and the rest just a few hundred views ever. Even if you yourself had posted a new review, most people would end up viewing the old one because the old one had legacy top ranking. Similarly, your comments below the review have been positive but probably only 1 out of 100 people who watch the review read the comments.

The other posters here are correct its your 1st amendment right to say what you want. But many of us are angry that you still don't appreciate the negative impact that you had on the company with hundreds of employees and a billion invested, and other journalists picked up on your anger and piled on. As an entrepreneur yourself I'd think you would understand this better but the Mac game market is maybe much simpler. You screw up the game you can write a new one next month and put up a new game. You screw up Fisker you screw up hundreds of peoples lives.
 

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http://www.briangreenstone.com/fisker/




HOW I FEEL ABOUT THE FISKER KARMA

When the Karma is working, it's actually a very nice car to drive. It is peppy at low speeds, it's very smooth and quiet, and just feels nice. Plus, this car gets more stares (and I mean *intense* stares) than anything else on the road, so it's a fun experience. It's not fun like driving a performance car like my Aston, but it's fun because it's so different.
The car confuses people because it looks like a supercar, but it's not. The Karma is a 4-door sedan, and it's not even a sports sedan - too slow for that. It's just a sedan, like a Buick, but just a whole lot sexier and more interesting.
The problem, however, is the the car is extremely unreliable, and has incredibly buggy software. Fisker has released numerous software updates in an attempt to stop the bleeding, but as of v6.15 there are still plenty of critical problems. Problems with the car not turning on, not going into drive, not charging properly, etc. The infotainment system known as the Command Center is just plain awful. I hope that Fisker will eventually get these issues resolved, but I'm starting to lose my patience.
The latest I hear is that Fisker admits the processor in the Command Center is inadequate, so to deal with this the next major update of the software is going to change everything to Black & White to improve performance. It's already mostly B&W, and that's part of the problem, so this sounds like it's only going to get worse. Surely, they won't make the Nav system Black & White too?
In the end, I must admit that I'm not too thrilled with Fisker Automotive and how they shoved this car out the door when it clearly wasn't ready. I cut them a lot of slack in the beginning, but I'm not standing up for them anymore. I cannot recommend this car to anyone, and I would advise anyone against buying one. They're nice daily drivers, but for $110,000 it's just not worth it. Buy and Aston or a Jaguar or a Maserati instead. Much better cars for the money even tho they're not green.




If I felt this way about the car I would probably sell the vehicle and move on. Why ruin sales for the company? Heck I have had a lot of problems with my Tesla Model S but I woudl never go on Youtube and create videos berating the car (that helps nobody). At the end of the day I would much rather drive an EV that needs a bit of work than a Jaguar, Aston, MBZ etc. There will probably never be another car like the Karma and I would much rather have this marque survive rather than pile on them right out of the gates. That really does not help anyone. Having more BMW's Jaguars, Aston Martin's on the road really does not fix "the problem" as stated in your blog. More EV's do.
 

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So what is the end goal here? Are we looking for Brian to prostrate himself before everyone so you have someone to blame for the situation he didn't create?

You have actual ex-Fisker employees on the board enumerating the ways that the company screwed up, and you all want to throw stones at the guy who had the balls to call them on it. Grow up.
 

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A few weeks ago, while researching the Karma as a candidate to replace my XK8, I saw Brian's video, read Consumer Reports, Motor Trend, and everything else out there including this Buzz. What motivated me the most to get serious about the Karma were the positive comments here. Fisker S.V. was great and gave my wife and me a loaner for a weekend. We drove it around NorCal and didn't experience most of the nits discussed in the media, but we did experience all the good things you people were talking about.

Over the years, I have driven numerous ICE sports cars and most of the EVs now on the road, and none of them came even close to the Karma.

There was no pressure from the dealer at any time and as it has turned out, no misrepresentations about anything. We knew BK was a possibility, and my wife and I talked about the warranty and getting parts, etc.

After much discussion we took the plunge early last month because WE LOVE THE CAR. We have no regrets because we own something that may never grace this planet again. It makes me proud to tell people that this engineering marvel was designed in America. It's a symbol of what passion and ingenuity can do. You can't always put a dollar figure on that.

So please, let's quit fixing the blame and try to fix the problem by being more positive here to the many eyes watching us and perhaps using our comments to decide if FA’s designs live or die.
 

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So you guys seriously believe that @Brian's video had more impact that, just taking a random example, this one?



Here is a 9-minute segment on the world's most popular motoring show singing the praises of the Fisker Karma. Top Gear is notoriously and unabashedly anti-EV, so much so that they were (unsuccessfully) sued by Tesla for allegedly faking test results to put the roadster in a bad light, and were busted by Nissan for deliberately driving in circles to run a Nissan Leaf out of juice as far away as possible from a charging station, so that they can demonstrate the impracticality of EV vehicles. Yet they chose the Fisker Karma as their Luxury Car of the Year.

So which video do you think was seen by more people (probably by a couple of orders of magnitude) and had more impact?

The right target of your well-justified anger is Fisker's management who apparently have a hard time selling ice cream in the middle of a desert, not @Brian who is talking about the car he bought with his own money, which car he still owns, by the way. Hold on to your righteous indignation, but use it as motivation to call, text, tweet, people really responsible for this mess and remind them of their sins instead of pillorying one of our own.
 

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It's not that easy Brian. Youtube has hundreds of Karma videos but yours floated to the top thanks to well -- your apparent authenticism?
My review floating to the top because people liked the review - it was honest and complete. It wasn't a "quick look" review like most of the car magazines did - review which were essentially useless overviews of the car with no real content. Also, my review was more positive than probably 80% of the other reviews out there, but like I said earlier, its human nature to ignore positives and to only focus on negatives. Nothing I said in that review was false. If anything I feel guilty for voluntarily leaving out all the information about how unreliable the car was and how every time you'd take it out there was a very good chance of being stranded. I was being a bit biased when I decided to skip that little detail.

-Brian
 

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My review floating to the top because people liked the review - it was honest and complete. It wasn't a "quick look" review like most of the car magazines did - review which were essentially useless overviews of the car with no real content. Also, my review was more positive than probably 80% of the other reviews out there, but like I said earlier, its human nature to ignore positives and to only focus on negatives. Nothing I said in that review was false. If anything I feel guilty for voluntarily leaving out all the information about how unreliable the car was and how every time you'd take it out there was a very good chance of being stranded. I was being a bit biased when I decided to skip that little detail.

-Brian

Are you on 510 now?
 

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So which video do you think was seen by more people (probably by a couple of orders of magnitude) and had more impact?

Tesla sold as many Roadsters as Fisker did in 3 years or so? Different market segment, plus the only major niggle they kept talking about was the range. Most Roadster owners are not looking at online reviews when buying that car. The Karma appealed to a different market (luxury GT). Larger market and more mainstream. Fisker earned 200 million in revenue in 9 months. It took Tesla 3 years to achieve that. Not a valid comparison.
 

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For Goodness Sakes, We are crying over spilled milk. Let's move on Gentlemen. For those of us that still have the car, for the most part it means we love it!!! I personally place it in a category well above Jags, Astons and all other run of the mill exotics. Regardless of what lead to the demise, we need to work on securing the "Current" fisker owners futures. I as well as many other have already communicated with Altia about the possibility of future improvments witht he command center. They seem to be willing to help, even though outside there business model. There is a lot of productive talk on FB about compiling a parts list. I think the current Fisker owners (who love there car and don't plan on selling it) and anyone (techs. engineers. business men) who are willing to make this work for the collective should continue to chime in. As for the rest again its all just spilled milk.
 

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Tesla sold as many Roadsters as Fisker did in 3 years or so? Different market segment, plus the only major niggle they kept talking about was the range. Most Roadster owners are not looking at online reviews when buying that car. The Karma appealed to a different market (luxury GT). Larger market and more mainstream. Fisker earned 200 million in revenue in 9 months. It took Tesla 3 years to achieve that. Not a valid comparison.
Sounds to me like you are supporting my point that @Brian's video was not a major factor, but I am not sure. :huh:

For Goodness Sakes, We are crying over spilled milk. Let's move on Gentlemen. For those of us that still have the car, for the most part it means we love it!!! I personally place it in a category well above Jags, Astons and all other run of the mill exotics. Regardless of what lead to the demise, we need to work on securing the "Current" fisker owners futures. I as well as many other have already communicated with Altia about the possibility of future improvments witht he command center. They seem to be willing to help, even though outside there business model. There is a lot of productive talk on FB about compiling a parts list. I think the current Fisker owners (who love there car and don't plan on selling it) and anyone (techs. engineers. business men) who are willing to make this work for the collective should continue to chime in. As for the rest again its all just spilled milk.
Well stated! This is really the point here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Let's look at sequence of events again.

1. Under pressure to get back on DOE timetable, management makes bad decision to release car before bugs are worked out. Owners taking winter/spring 2012 delivery have lots of problems.

2. Press and Brian issue scathing reviews about early flaws and many trips to dealer.

3. During spring and summer 2012 Fisker engineers fix the problems. Most owners now have very reliable car and much happier. The few who buy cars in fall 2012 are very happy.

4. Bad reviews become sticky on the web through 2013. Consumer Reports puts out bad final review in October 2012. Instead of noticing turnaround and reporting how owners love the car, hundreds of partisan copycat articles misquote facts from original bad reviews. Sales come to a standstill.

Whether or not the Karma should have been released in 2012 Model Year, once that mistake was made the company did their best to address it. I just want Brian and the rest of the bloggers out there to be as responsible about updating their stories and fixing the errors in their articles as Fisker was about updating the Karma. Have we seen that? I know it's way easier to update an article than rewrite the Karma firmware. Why not hold journalists to the same quality standard we do Fisker management? Journalists and bloggers hold enormous power over this company they should use it responsibly, no? If not I'm gonna give them **** for it and Fisker management too.

Call it stickyness or bias whatever you want, but the continuing negativity
of press coverage of the Karma, which has been unfounded for the past 6 months, is just as much a part of Fisker's failure as Tony's apparent lack of focus the past few months. Because it's **** hard to turn things around when everybody on the internet is bashing you over the head with a partisan baseball bat every day. If Karmas had been selling the past 6 months and people not laid off we might not notice how good/bad the management has been.

Look what the press did to GM the year the Volt launched with that stupid battery fire story. Luckily GM had deeper pockets to weather the media storm. Fisker doesn't. If a smaller company had been launching the Volt, the Volt would have died that year too but it's doing much better now.
 

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Ok, I just watched my review again, and I've got to say it sure seemed overall quite positive and upbeat to me. I wrote down every good and bad comment that I made, and it was pretty fair and balanced because here's what I came up with (in chronological order):


GOOD
• Best looking car for $100k , one of sexiest at any price.
• Good big wheels, easy to clean.
• Tires have good grip and quiet.
• Solar panel very cool looking, and keeps interior cool in summer.
• Trunk adequate for most daily chores.
• Rock solid body and construction.
• Interior gorgeous, unique, elegant, well designed.
• Like the gear select pyramid
• Like the normal buttons for windows.
• Cool door open button.
• Nice beefy steering wheel & controls
• Beautiful dashboard.
• Nice leather & suede on dash.
• Back seat is comfortable with reasonable leg room for short trips.
• Outstanding brakes.
• Great acceleration from 0-40
• Very quiet car
• Excellent visibility – best of any car I’ve owned.
• Hill Mode regen braking works great.
• Best for city driving – start & stop does great.
• Fantastic handling on curvy roads.
• Ride is very smooth and level. Outstanding sedan drive.
• Very green car. Haters don’t know what they’re talking about.
• Simple to charge - Nice coiled charging cable.
• Costs 1/3 to drive vs. gas car.
• Exterior A+, Interior A-, Drivability B, Overall B+, some tweaks to make A

BAD
• Funky front grille
• Tire life
• Very heavy car
• Solar panel expensive and somewhat useless.
• Not going to get dog in the car.
• Panels out of whack.
• Prefer analog buttons and controls since Command Center sucks.
• Inexplicable glove box button
• Useless battery window – waste of space.
• Voice command doesn’t work right.
• Hard to read speedometer needle.
• Some leather tucking issues – not up to spec for $100k car.
• Command Center – weakest link in car – crap – worst UI in history.
• Back seat cramped and questionable for tall people.
• Not a sports car despite its looks.
• Sport mode still not sporty – hard to tell difference.
• Lack of power after 40mph – hard to do quick passing.
• Sport mode engine noise is embarrassing.
• Rear window turbulence noise.
• Car is heavy and you feel it. Not sporty feeling.
• Why is charging port in back of a 16’ car?
• User friendliness D – poor.
 
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