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This does not look like good news. Has anyone else heard anything about this? I understand all the Chinese Prospects walked away from the talks and no more are planned.
From Today's Chicago Tribune

fisker trib.jpg
 

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Fisker could file for bankruptcy. Hasn't happened yet as CEO is still touring Asia in last ditch effort to attract investors. See yesterday's threads in the lounge.
 

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This does not look like good news. Has anyone else heard anything about this? I understand all the Chinese Prospects walked away from the talks and no more are planned.
From Today's Chicago Tribune

View attachment 330
Seeing that image of a newspaper clipping made me chuckle. It reminds me of my grandparents and their habit of sending local news to us that way - stuffed inside of hand-written letters.

Anyway, not quite dead yet (Fisker, that is)...

 

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If they do go under... Which hopefully they don't. I wonder if customers will be able to get their battery replacements still from A123 if a shop could figure out how to actually replace it.
 

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that new Jalopnik piece is damning. They have quotes of Henrik giving an epitaph of Fisker Auto :s

While this is looming bankruptcy may be in motion; we have Tony Posawatz tweeting about Justin Verlander's contract. I wish this guy had never retired from GM.
 

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some information from fisker to us owners would god.will there be a new softwareupdate etc..
 

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This is Jelopnik -- not exactly an unbiased source. Fisker is definitely in trouble, but Jelopnik has always wanted to see it fail. Exh. 1:



I am not blind to what is going on, but they may want to stop circling and rest their wings a bit. Fisker is not dead yet.
 

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In even the best organization you will find someone who complains they are not being consulted or listened to by higher ups. Without being in the meetings everyday it's impossible to say who the turkeys really are -- certainly no way for us to tell which of Henrik or Tony or others is being disruptively egotistical.

If Henrik were trying to prevent the Chinese from screwing the existing investors in a fire sale, he could have done that just as well by not blowing through the cash so fast while he was CEO.

I certainly wonder what the remaining employees have been working on the past 6 months while management has been searching for the 'strategic partner' to complete the Atlantic.

At least Tom Lasorda was able to turn around the quality control and produce a solid, reliable car, thus filling that hole in the organization. I'd like to see someone turn around the investor, press, and customer communication. They still haven't figured out how to make use of the recent levels of customer satisfaction.
 

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Anybody have thoughts on Ray Lane's effectiveness? The Hewlett Packard board is under heavy criticism for HP's missteps and he's on that board too.
 

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The reason why Fisker had so many problems initially was due to their development model. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/0608/070-automakers-fisker-karmas-the-next-detroit.html

This model is what caused delays and subsequently most everything was brought in house. Problem was they should have stuck with Lasorda and not went to Pos (after the problems were fixed). That was the move that may destroy Fisker Automotive. The guy has no skin in the game like previous CEO's and has never been in an executive leadership type position. In hindsight it looks like the only reason the FA board put Pos in this type of position was to attract VC money. Just a terrible move that may end up breaking our backs. At the very least I hope that Henrik goes back to coachbuilding and perhaps customization/maintenance of existing Karma's (if FA goes BK).

I have heard that there are a bunch of upgraded packages that are in development for the Karma. Would be awesome for these to see light. Karma owners would be more than happy to pay for upgrades. Shrink the company and become a smaller more nimble one. That is the only move that may ultimately make sense.
 

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I don't think LaSorda wanted the job long term he had come out of retirement also heard he was very expensive. What have you heard about Tony to definitively blame him? Granted whole partner with China strategy is kinda pathetic. Sorry I don't trust any Jalopnik sourcing they would say anything to hurt Fisker.
 

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Here's my take on the main contributing factors to Fisker's undoing:

1) Neither Henrik nor Barny had ever run a division of a car company, let along a standalone car company, and had no experience in capital-intensive startups.

2) There was no quality system in place, and as a result they delivered the first cars before they were reliable and ready for customers.

3) No one at Fisker had any startup company experience, and didn't understand the need to handhold the first customers and make them successful with the product as it was going through its inevitable teething problems.

4) The founders believed their own hype, with hugely optimistic forecasts for how many cars would be sold, resulting in way too much capital committed to parts and inventory.

5) In order to avail themselves to less expensive capital, Fisker did the loan agreement with the DOE, prematurely committed to the Atlantic and the factory in Delaware, and got caught in the political maelstrom of the 2012 election.

6) They had a lot of bad luck, especially the 2 fires, the battery failure in the Consumer Reports test car and the cars lost to Hurricane Sandy.

Hard to survive with even a few of these factors in play, let alone all of them.
 

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Ya I left out the bad aspect of LaSorda epoc where business strategy was to find private loans to replace the DOE loan and thereby remove the political noose before the election, but sales were stalling already due to fire and battery scares so those deals fell through as well, and LaSorda signed out. This **** the DOE effort spent several months. Then when Tony came aboard they switched to trying to find strategic partners like Tesla had done at a key moment in their history.

I never quite understood why they didn't just focus on relaunching a weight and cost reduced 2014 Karma, then build its sales up to original targets over a couple years -- why all the hail mary we have to enable the Atlantic for the past 6 months. Was that the big money VCs still pushing go big for their early exit? They had to push Atlantic to keep Delaware from asking for money back?

Dennis I think they did put a lot of effort into handholding the first customers through the dealers. I read a lot of positive comments about the dealer service last spring. But they never engaged us customers over the internet as a community. Not sure what can be done with those early customers who have no patience with any issues whatsoever, demand instant perfection from a startup, and vent in hour long Youtube rants that the general public interprets as authoritative, deserved mockery ...
 

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Dennis I think they did put a lot of effort into handholding the first customers through the dealers. I read a lot of positive comments about the dealer service last spring. But they never engaged us customers over the internet as a community. Not sure what can be done with those early customers who have no patience with any issues whatsoever, demand instant perfection from a startup, and vent in hour long Youtube rants that the general public interprets as authoritative, deserved mockery ...
Unfortunately that handholding was belated. It was very frustrating to be a customer in Jan-Apr 2012, with no information from Fisker to either the dealers or the customers about the problems we were experiencing. That did change after Lasorda came onboard and put quality assurance in place.

If Fisker had immediately engaged the early customers around the problems we were experiencing, the damning YouTube videos may never have appeared.
 

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Anybody have thoughts on Ray Lane's effectiveness? The Hewlett Packard board is under heavy criticism for HP's missteps and he's on that board too.
I met Ray Lane when he got his car, and in the interviews I've seen him give regarding Fisker he seemed reasonable. However, he doesn't have a great track record regarding EV related investments, e.g., Th!nk, VVC, and EEstore. To be fair, it's a space with very few winners.

Here's a low quality vid I took back then:

I wonder if Ray Lane was the "other partner at Kleiner that really wanted the deal" to be on the Tesla board during their Series C, while Musk wanted John Doerr.

Who Made the Bigger Mistake in the Botched Series C for Tesla: Elon Musk or John Doerr?

 

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One last note on these articles. Any source from Fisker who would leak to Jalopnik, whose been a big source of Fisker smears for a year, must be quite disgruntled themselves or just really stupid.
 
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