The Story of Fisker

The article was contributed by servicingstop.co.uk – a car servicing company based in the UK with over 1,000 garages.

Fisker started out back in 2007 with great expectations.  They are a unique company, offering vehicles that resembled Ferraris and Lamborghinis. What is the difference? Fisker builds plug-in hybrids. Celebrities are very interested in the stylish “green” rides, with Aston Kutcher, Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber being three of the highest profile buyers.

How it started
Based in Anaheim California, the company was started by Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler. Henrik was a former designer for BMW and Aston Martin. He designed some of their most iconic cars, including the Z8 and the Aston Martin DB9. That gives reason as to why the Fisker Karma had a superb design. It won several awards and received a great deal of praise.

Government backing
The United States Government was a huge supporter of Fisker. They saw a company that was willing to reduce emissions and offer great fuel economy within sporty vehicles. Fisker managed to secure approximately £130 million in Government loans. On top of that they also received around £800 million from investors. Clearly they had all the backing they needed to become a success.

The Government originally handed £345,000,000 for a new model named the Atlantic. Further Government funding was halted as Fisker did not reach certain previous agreements. Production never started.

Too much too soon?
Why has Fisker fallen off the rails? Perhaps the Fisker Karma was before it’s time. Everyone would love a hybrid sports car. The only problem is that it could argued that the cost of purchasing one was slightly unreasonable. The amount of funding that was needed to research and develop such a vehicle was eventually passed on down to the price tag.
Fisker was one of the pioneers of plug-in electric hybrid technology. They are now seeking to sell off such technology in the form of intellectual property rights.

Although Henrik Fisker founded the company, he quit his own company after a dispute with management. That goes to show just how dysfunctional Fisker was actually run. He mentioned how proud he was to be in charge when the first ever hybrid plug-in was released.

A few positives for Fisker
In some ways Fisker has been a slight success, selling 2,000 models since the first was released into a showroom. To see such high profile celebrities driving around in Fiskers shows that company was clearly doing something right. They shot to the top as one of the world’s leading luxury car makers alongside the likes of Mercedes Benz.

Facing a crisis
After such great potential, Fisker cut down 75% of it’s workforce in 2013. They are now facing bankruptcy and are desperately seeking financial help. Their downfall could be blamed on poor initial steps. When the Karma was first released, there was a great deal of problems. 239 models were recalled back in late December 2011. They hit supplier problems later on, which meant production had to be halted.

Fisker got so bad at one point that Mitt Romney, President Obama’s rival in the elections was using the company as a punching bag. He said that President Obama had made a bad decision in helping to fund the company.

Where can Fisker go from here?
So what now for Fisker? They are seeking for investors to keep the operation going. If everything goes according to plan, they hope to release a new model in late 2014 or even 2015. This model will be a cheaper alternative to the Karma and smaller too. A vehicle like that will be suitable for a wider area of the market and will guarantee more sales.

Fisker’s operations were unconventional compared to those of major automotive companies. The structure was slightly different, given that they did not have the same type of infrastructure as the major companies. Work was outsourced and contracted out as a result. Many claim this did not help matters.

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