Fisker Ready to Pull the Plug?

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Mass layoffs, crippling debt, stalled production and the departure of its founder are all very bad signs for the luxury hybrid automaker.

Fisker has not exactly been enjoying good times lately. In fact, things have been downright horrible for the start-up plug-in hybrid automaker. Aside from the $30 million lost in damaged Karmas caused by Hurricane Sandy, the bankruptcy and eventual sale of battery supplier A123 Systems and the fact that not a single Karma has been built since last July are all clear signals that Fisker is in deep trouble. And it gets worse. Company founder Henrik Fisker just quit the company a couple weeks ago and now comes word that there have been mass layoffs.


Around 160 people, mainly those working in the PR department, were given their pink slips last Friday. Now Fisker is being sued by one ex-employee under the US Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act, which states that a 60-day notification period must be given before any mass layoffs. Those fired employees were supposedly not given proper compensation other than unused vacation days and boxes to clean out their desks. In order to conserve as much cash as possible, Fisker seems to be keeping only its core executive team in place as it attempts to find additional investors.

Thing is, even those potential Chinese money-backers are apparently no longer interested due to Fisker's obligations towards US government loans and other related issues. After months (if not years) of strained negotiations, the US Department of Energy is now reportedly preparing to demand repayment of the loan, which could push Fisker straight over the edge and into bankruptcy. So unless there's a big check signed over to Fisker in the very near future, the future looks very, very bleak for the once promising automaker.

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