Founded in 2007, Fisker Automotive has had a hard time getting up to speed, and today one of the founders, Henrik Fisker, resigns his post as executive chairman.
What seemed to start out as a good idea, an electric vehicle with an onboard backup generator, or extended range electric vehicle, hasn’t turned out to be such a great company. Fisker Automotive’s first cars, the Karma and Surf, is essentially the same technology as the Chevy Volt, but in a much more beautiful package. What puts some people off, though, is the price, starting out in the $90,000+ range, which is a little more expensive than say, a Tesla Model S 85kWh.
Fisker Automotive though, has suffered some major problems with image, including recalls and concerns over fire and the loss of sixteen vehicles to Hurricane Sandy. Additionally, Fisker’s main battery supplier, A123 Systems, is now defunct and has been acquired by Chinese parts giant Wanxiang. Not a single Karma has been built since A123 went under in July.
Fisker Automotive isn’t the only electric vehicle company suffering and swapping CEOs and business plans. AMP has changed focus. Better Place has had three CEOs in as many months, as well as pulling out of various markets. CODA Motors recently announced the closure of its flagship showroom.
On the other hand, mainstream automakers are having a little easier time with their electrification programs, mostly because they have the rest of their business to keep them afloat. Only Tesla Motors seems to have found that magical mix of insight and execution to make it to the top.
The resignation of Henrik Fisker makes me wonder where he will go next. Could this be another Apple-type internal fight over power, which led to Steve Jobs being ousted? Henrik Fisker, co-founder of Fisker Automotive, doesn’t like the direction his company has gone, mainly down. Who’s to say that he might take another company in a different direction?
photo (c) caranddriver.com