Your number one source for car news, autosport news and the latest developments in green technology!

Fisker lays off staff as electric car company teeters on the brink

Fisker lays off staff as electric car company teeters on the brink

Fisker, the California-based manufacturer of plug-in hybrid cars, looks close to folding — according to reports from the US

Fisker, the electric car-maker based in Anaheim, California, laid off a significant number of staff this morning, including the PR team, sources have told Autocar.

Reports last week revealed that Fisker had hired a law firm, which many commentators suggested was a lead-in to filing for bankruptcy. Production of Fisker’s £65,000 Karma model – which is made by Valmet in Finland – was suspended last July.

US sources say that Fisker was also due to start making capital repayments on a government loan at the end of this month. Fisker was offered up to £350m in loans by the Obama administration, but payments were suspended in May 2012 after Fisker had drawn down around £131m. The company claimed to have delivered nearly 1800 Karmas by the end of 2012.

The company spent much of last year looking for new sources of investment, but has also been hit by a number of blows, some beyond its control. A number of early production Fiskers had to be recalled and repaired. A123 Systems, the company’s battery supplier also folded in 2012.

In October 2012 an estimated 300 Karmas were destroyed when Hurricane Sandy flooded the dockside at Port Newark in New Jersey. Last month, founder Henrik Fisker resigned from the company.

The Fisker company began life in 2007 and was founded by ex-Aston and BMW stylist Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler. The Karma saloon was first shown in 2009 but it was not until autumn 2011 that it went on sale.

Work on the Fisker Atlantic sports hatch version of the Karma, and on Project Nina (a 5-series-size car that was to have been built in the US), was also suspended last year.