The American Business Awards gave out its "Stevie" awards earlier this week and Fisker Automotive walked away with a statue as "Most Innovative Company of the Year – up to 100 employees." Wondering what a Stevie award is? So did we. Apparently, the American Business Awards were established in 2002 following the Enron debacle to honor companies and try to reestablish confidence in business. Like many lesser-known award programs, companies enter themselves although the fees for the Stevies are a comparatively low $160 rather than the thousands that some programs charge.
Whether the awards have achieved the original goal is open to debate and Fisker is just one of dozens of companies recognized this year. While it would be good to see Fisker succeed, it's not entirely clear what is especially innovative about the company. A small startup automaker partnering with suppliers to provide major sub-systems and components is a pattern that goes back to the early days of the industry. As for the idea of a luxury plug-in vehicle, Tesla started down that road even before Fisker, although it appears Fisker may get to the finish line first. Even the powertrain architecture is pretty similar to the Chevrolet Volt. Ultimately, all the awards in the world mean nothing; the proof is in the product pudding.