When, during the fall Presidential campaign, Mitt Romney called both Tesla and Fisker Automotive “loser companies,” most automotive journalists scoffed. Tesla is doing quite well; in fact, shortly after that statement was made, it won some of the industry’s most prestigious awards for its Model S. Unfortunately, in the same span of time, Fisker’s situation has gone not great to pretty dire.
In fact, it looks like Fisker has turned to some of Romney’s investment buddies for financial help. Green Car Reports reports that Fisker hired Evercore Partners, a Wall Street investment bank, to pull together additional funds or — better yet — a partner automaker.
Fisker hasn’t had an easy go of things. After missing some production deadlines, the $529 million it was promised from the federal government was halted at $190 million. Then Fisker’s lithium-ion battery supplier, A-123 Systems, declared bankruptcy. Fisker subsequently shut down production of its luxury range-extended model, the Karma, after producing somewhere between 2,000-3,000 units. Then Fisker lost around 300 brand-new Karmas to the flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Fisker has ruled out bankruptcy at the moment. It seems like a stretch that an investor will pump more money into the company as it currently stands, but an outright purchase of the fledgling brand isn’t out of the question – Tesla, after all, proves that there’s growth potential in electric car market.
Fisker unveiled a mid-size model, the Atlantic, at the New York Auto Show last year, but there is no news on the likelihood of production on that model in the face of this latest news.
It should be noted that, while Fisker’s situation is unfortunate, it’s by no means unprecedented; the last start-up American auto manufacturer to survive without being absorbed by another company was Chrysler.