Fisker suspends electric car production

Following recent reports that Fisker has been preparing for a possible bankruptcy filing, today the embattled automaker announced that it will suspend production of all electric vehicles.

“Fisker will suspend production for six weeks beginning the week of March 18, 2024, to adjust inventory levels and advance strategic and financing plans,” the company said in a statement.

Fisker further said it has secured financing commitments of “up to $150 million” from existing investors. The funding will be divided into four tranches but is by no means guaranteed; Fisker said it is subject to meeting “certain conditions,” including the filing of the company’s 2023 Form 10-K, the comprehensive report that public companies file annually about their financial performance.

Wired asked Fisker’s public relations representative to elaborate on what “certain conditions” would be in order to secure new investment. They declined to provide further details.

U.S. electric car sales are slowing across the board, but Fisker is having a particularly tough time. Arguably, it lost a degree of quality control when it handed manufacturing over to Canadian supplier Magna. Additionally, Fisker seems to be focusing more on style than substance, as evidenced by the build and software issues with its Ocean SUV. These problems fuel the idea that in the automotive world, there is no substitute for experience gained over a century of building cars, as BMW does.

Fisker also confirmed it’s in talks with “a major automaker” about an investment in the company, joint development of one or more electric vehicle platforms, and North American manufacturing, potentially looking for a potential lifeboat. According to Reuters, the company is said to be Nissan Motor Co. However, it sounds like those talks are far from complete, as the Fisker statement also said, “Any transaction will be subject to the satisfaction of important conditions, including the completion of due diligence and the negotiation and execution of an appropriate final agreement.”

Wired tested the Fisker Ocean in July 2023, but was in the unprecedented position of not being able to provide a rating for an electric car because the test car wasn’t complete yet. Our test Ocean was plagued by squeaky pedals, California mode that didn’t work (EVs drop all windows and keep the windshield), forcing the car to switch mid-test, and poor handling that’s said to be fixed with a software update . Simply put, too many features are missing or “coming soon” to make the Ocean SUV an EV that we can’t properly rate.

The Ocean has been plagued by quality issues since its launch, with owners complaining of sudden power outages, malfunctioning key fobs and sensors, hoods flying off and brake problems.

In fact, shortly after Fisker board member Wendy Greuel took delivery of her own Ocean SUV, it lost power on the road.Likewise, according to an internal document cache viewed by TechCrunch, Geeta Gupta Fisker, the company’s chief financial officer, chief operating officer and wife of co-founder Henrik Fisker, experienced a power shutdown while driving the Ocean.

Fisker has a checkered history across the pond. More than a decade ago, its namesake owner – formerly of BMW, Ford and Aston Martin (where he served as design director) – last launched a car bearing his name. The Karma was a range-extended sports GT that was ahead of its time in many ways, but it was also plagued by problems, including catastrophic failures consumer reports Testing and fire.

Things are looking bleak for the company right now. Fisker said it has about 4,700 vehicles in its inventory, carried forward from 2023, including production in 2024, and believes the inventory is worth more than $200 million in full vehicles. 1,300 vehicles have been delivered in 2024, and 4,900 vehicles will be shipped to customers in 2023.

In February, Fisker reported that the company had sales of $273 million last year but had more than $1 billion in debt. The company also warned that there were “significant doubts” about its ability to continue operating. The prolonged pause in production seemed to further reinforce this suspicion.

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