As rumors of bankruptcy swirl around Fisker Automotive, today the sports car manufacturer laid off 160 employees in its Anaheim, California office. The luxury eco automaker apparently failed to find a funding partner, which forced it to lay off as much as 75 percent of its staff. Only 53 higher level employees remain, and the company hopes to find an investor soon in order to escape total bankruptcy.
Trouble hit Fisker last year when A123 Systems, the company’s lithium-ion battery supplier, filed for bankruptcy themselves, putting a damper on the assembly of their Karma sedans. Then, last month, co-founder Henrik Fisker abruptly quit the company. Both factors, mixed with the lack of an automotive investing partner, have caused Fisker to fall into dire straits.
The company is currently seeking a partner, and rumor has it that the remaining senior managers and executives are seeking buyers for Fisker’s assets. Reuters reported that these remaining employees will be negotiating with the U.S. Department of Energy about an upcoming loan payment. The initial loan to Fisker from the Department of Energy was for $529 million, but only $193 million has thus far been accessed.
Fisker Automotive is a young company, having only been formed in 2007, and it has manufactured 2,500 electric cars. If the company should pull through this financial crisis, it plans to release a second electric model, the Atlantic, which is more affordable than the Karma.