Things aren’t looking so rosy for Fisker Autmotive. The Anaheim-based, electric car manufacturer is in a bit of financial trouble, as it was recently forced to layoff a number of employees at its Delaware plant.
As you may remember, Fisker Automotive, headed by automobile designer Henrik Fisker, was one of the auto companies granted federal aid by the Obama Administration with a $529 million government loan, which it has since used to help develop its Fisker Karma electric sports car, among others.
ABC news has reported that the electric automaker was recently forced to layoff 26 of its employees at the very same location that CEO Henrik Fisker touted as the future manufacturing plant of a much more affordable electric car. The Fisker Karma starts at $102,000, a price far out of reach for the average American.
In response to news that Fisker would have to layoff more than two dozen employees, Roger Ormisher, a company spokesman told ABC news, “It’s temporary…we’re being prudent and sensible as a company.”
Of course Fisker Automotive isn’t the only company to receive federal aid towards development costs for electric vehicles and technology. As many may recall — GM, who began selling its Volts back in December 2010, were also recipients of government aid, in the amount of roughly $49.5 billion.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Fisker, though. After initial deliveries of its electric sports car began in November 2011, Fisker was plagued with some bad karma of its own, and was forced to recall 239 Karmas, built from July 2011 through November 3, 2011, due to a risk of battery fire caused by coolant leak.
Due to its recent woes, Fisker is now seeking even more economic aid from the Department of Energy in an attempt to gather public funds as it looks to set its ship right.
What long term consequences Fisker Automotive may have to suffer remains unclear. While automotive hiccups are to be expected in new endeavors, given the infancy of the American electric car industry, Fisker should be able to recover. According to a company statement gathered by ABC news, as of today, Fisker has received $193 million in government funds.
Reports also suggest that the company was planning on using the majority of its funds towards a top-secret second generation electric vehicle at its Deleware plant. And that part of this top-secret project would consist of a more affordable electric car aimed at the average American, but unfortunately among those recently let go by the company were said to be involved in this heavily guarded project.
Whether Fisker Automotive will continue to draw federal loans, or is forced into making more layoffs, remains to be seen. But given the staunch criticism growing from those across party lines — in an election year no less — politics may play a key role in Fisker’s future.