After facing what could be charitably described as a terrible year, Fisker founder and Chairman Henrik Fisker admitted in a recent interview that his company is "actively engaged in conversations with potential strategic partners." Speaking with TheDetroitBureau.com, Fisker went on to say that he'd, "like to see if we can get something done next year."

As of this writing, Fisker has declined invitations to divulge which companies those partnership conversations are happening with. If one cared to hazard a guess though, BMW and General Motors – both loosely associated with Fisker in past dealings – might be good front-runners.

The urge to seek a tie-up with a larger, more stable entity does not come out of the blue for the independent Fisker. The reputation of the company's Karma model has been rocked by battery fires and a scathing review from Consumer Reports earlier this year, and now its production schedule is being held hostage by a battery shortage because its supplier, A123 Systems, has gone bankrupt. More significantly still, the company's plans to launch a second, more affordable Atlantic model have been stymied due to the US Department of Energy putting the brakes on a promised low-interest loan to the automaker.

This isn't the first time that the Fisker founder has admitted that all is not completely rosy, certainly, but there does seem to be a more pragmatic tone this time around than in interviews past. Which large company would make for a "dream" mashup with Fisker? Give us your two cents, in Comments.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 112 Comments
      ptdidly01
      • 2 Years Ago
      Time to fade away Fisker.....it's not going to work.
      dukeisduke
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fisker is no different from any other startup automaker that came before him, who thinks he's the smartest guy on the block, and that building cars is a piece of cake. Elon Musk may break the mold, but the jury's still out on Tesla, too.
        Brodz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dukeisduke
        Um... Benz and Daimler? Henry Ford? W.O. Bentley? Enzo Ferrari? Ferruccio Lamborghini? Bruce McLaren? To name a few. More recently, the ICON brand.
      Radioactive Flea
      • 2 Years Ago
      100k car build on style, not substance.
      marc.mitchell
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Henrik, I see problems!!!!!"
      Robert Fahey
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well, if nothing else, that car shows the potential of sedan styling.
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fisker Automotive's Karma was always going to draw crowds of haters and detractors. The high art styling and unusual engineering, was designed to appeal to a very narrow market. The cars design was created to attract those buyers who appreciate fashion. In a time of deep economic anxiety, the Karma's appeal was a throwback to the showy opulence of the 1980's. The Fisker quickly became the darling of movie stars and 'celebrities'. Naturally, those who hated, or felt that sort of market was somehow wasteful or immoral, screamed loudly at Fiskers use of EV technology. Fisker was never intended to save the planet, nor is it an EV. It's use of EV technology is not for purists. Yet, it was designed when EV technology was a by-word for boring or ugly design. Building Automobiles, even low volume, specialist, automobiles, is a very high cost, capital intensive, complex, high risk, low profit, business. Most Americans misunderstood Fisker's Karma. Henrick Fisker probably should have established his business in a sympathetic European country, and exported to the US. I have always felt that Fisker Automotive should have been in Joint Venture with a large, but staid, OEM. That's the traditional route for specialist car builders who start life as coach-builders. Fisker Automotive is currently in quite good financial shape, but if cash flow from sales are interrupted due to the failure of battery supply, Fisker's financial position will quickly deteriorate. I wish Henrik Fisker, and Fisker Automotive well. It takes a lot of courage to create a new independent car company, and Fisker has had some very undeserved bad luck, and rabid criticism from both left and right.
        PeterScott
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Fisker draws ridicule because of high price combined with Lada-esque engineering/reliability. If it was merely about being expensive and nice styling, the Tesla Model S would also draw crowds of haters, but unlike the Karma, the Model actually seems to be very well engineered, very reliable and all around fantastic car.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Well said.
        wtrmlnjuc
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Fisker failed to meet their promises, they have had many problems, they're constantly running out of money, the design is just poor in actual function - Fisker's death is its own fault. Tesla has managed to get the hang of it right by not fully concentrating on aesthetics, but by concentrating on everything. Whether or not Tesla survives the next few years is unknown, although Model S sales are going quite well.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm gonna say this as a guy who loves green cars. Give up on the green car. The DOE is no longer extending you money, so there's no reason any longer to go with the crazy drivetrain. People will buy the car for the looks. So take all the nonsense out from under the hood and put in a twin-turbo V6. It will sell better and at a lower price. Making a car is hard enough for a small company, making an EREV is just making it exponentially harder. And it's not like the car is all that green anyway to start with.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        [blocked]
          imoore
          • 2 Years Ago
          SVX, and Dave, that's not a bad idea. Offer high performance gas-only engines as either standard equipment or optional, and that wuold help generate sales and income. Considering the situation they're in, this would be a great short-term fix. It's sad Fisker didn't think of this earlier.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          I'm with you EVnerdgene. Fisker wanted to start his own car company, and there were easy loans to get. Adapt business plan to be eligible for loans. But now that the loans are gone, you have to adapt again.
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          Dave
          • 2 Years Ago
          Why not a turbo flat 6?
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
        PeterScott
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        I seriously doubt it. Fisker essentially gets a pass on quality/bugs from some people because of the novelty drivetrain. Put in a normal drivetrain and it would need to compete head to head against Maserati and High end BMW directly and there would be no more excuses for shoddy quality/workmanship. It would fail even faster IMO.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          'BMW said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the defect.' Meanwhile, out of the 2,000 Karms sold and are under 2 years old, 2 have caught fire. And that's not even counting the ones on the docks in NJ which, despite perhaps not being due to anything but the hurricane are actually counted in the vehicle fire statistics.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          You obviously aren't aware of the "shoddy quality/workmanship" that abounds in the BMWs and Maseratis that Fisker would (and currently does) compete with. All of their infotainment systems are terrible. And that's the worst part of the Karma, so it's about even there. When the ambulance-chaser sought headlines about Fisker's fire risk - in the video where he drives to make a scene at the Fisker Dealership - he's driving a BMW that was currently under recall for fire risks, and had a recommendation to be parked out doors because of that likelyhood . http://www.insideline.com/bmw/5-series/13-million-2003-10-bmw-5-and-6-series-recalled-for-fire-risk.html
      Dana Bennett
      • 2 Years Ago
      Henrik is a great designer and driving the car is a great pleasure. But they took a bath from the Solyndra fallout and Romneys bashing during his idiotic campaign. Those in the negative should remember the time it took to get a Tesla to the streets and while I will admit Musk is a daring genius purely electric cars are not the future. As far as building the Karma in Finland ..get over it. Fed and State gov'ts have loaned money to all sorts of foreign manufacturers who build in the States. But guess where their profits go? duh!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dana Bennett
        [blocked]
      Scr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Only an idiot would buy into this thing now. Just wait for the bankruptcy and buy it at fire sale prices! But why would you want it? There isn't really any new technology there that is any better than anybody elses and that you can't buy from other supplier. It comes with a lot of liabilities and not a lot of assets. Besides, GM dumped the Delaware plant once already.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        m_2012
        • 2 Years Ago
        Nope. Elon and Tesla are here to stay. Fisker is definitely done for though. I am sure our government will dump some more money into them before its over though.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @m_2012
          The government isn't going to touch them. They already cancelled most of their loan earlier this year for not hitting planned benchmarks.
      The Machine
      • 2 Years Ago
      Screw Fisker! Save Hostess... At least I can afford Twinkies.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      The ATVM program that gave Fisker the DOE loan was a George W. Bush program! It was $198 million. So all of you people saying "Thanks, Obama" and "Obama economics." Please do a little research before you knee-jerk assign blame. Is there plenty of government waste out there - of course. It was around just as much before Obama as with him. In fact Obama's DOE cut off Fisker at $198 million. Fisker was originally given $528 million but the company missed certain deadlines. Keep your eye on the ball, people. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/jul/20/mitt-romney/romney-ad-says-stimulus-money-went-buy-electric-ca/
        Maddoxx
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
        If Chu has the power to cut them off from the Loan he could have stopped it from the first place. But who knew that Fisker was going tO make shitty cars for the rich and have them be built in Europe? I bet if Chu knew this he would hav never granted Fisker the loans
          EVnerdGene
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Maddoxx
          @Letstakeawalk But the original plan sold to the DOE was for a $40k series-hybrid to be built in Delaware. Hence the giggling Biden's arm-twisting to get them the loan.. http://www.autoblog.com/2009/10/28/has-vp-joe-biden-leaked-fiskers-product-plan/ Project Nina to compete nose to nose with the Volt ? OK? Later Frisker returned and got approval for $193M to complete Karma so they could get to Nina/Atlantic (same engineering innovation/engineering anyway, right? I mean the Karma and Atlantic are really similar, except being shorter it would sell for half the price. So it really made sense to head-up-butt DOE automotive and business experts). In 2009, the plan was to start selling Atlantics in 2012. Missed it by that much.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Maddoxx
          The price of the Karma, and the location of production in Finland were part of the business plan that was submitted to the DoE. The loans were granted in full knowledge of Fisker's plans.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Maddoxx
          As part of getting the loan Fisker was limited to spending the money ONLY in the USA development area.
        motorhead
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
        Obama's DOE approved the Fisker loan.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @motorhead
          "Ford received $5.9 billion"
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @motorhead
          "Obama's DOE approved the Fisker loan." True. But the criteria for approving the loan was already in place according to the Bush program. The DOE under Obama couldn't have arbitrarily denied Fisker a loan when they met the criteria that was set in place by the Bush Administration. In fact the Bush Administration set aside $25 billion and Obama's administration cut everyone off at $8.2 billion. Do you want to give Obama credit for saving us taxpayers $16.8 billion? For received $5.9 billion, Nissan got $1.6 billion, Fisker got $198 million of $528 million, and Tesla got $465 million. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Technology_Vehicles_Manufacturing_Loan_Program Just getting the facts straight. I'm not trying to say that Obama's administration isn't spending a lot since we all know that they are. I'm just trying to point out that other administrations spend a whole lot too.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @motorhead
          EVnerd. "What was so innovative about Frisker that excited the DOE?" In 2008, there was no Volt, Leaf, or any other electric or EREV. Fisker being a series hybrid, of any sort, would have sounded very cutting edge in technology. Aptera was too innovative and didn't fit the definition of "car" with its three wheels. Money given to them would have been lost on the management team anyway. The car was the most innovative before that management team showed up. The idea was for it to be a safe commuting enclosed motorcycle. It would have got over 200 MPGe. A 10 kWh pack would have gotten you 100 miles. Ford's money actually went to upgrading their regular ICE engines and building their new hybrids. The FFE might have been included but it wasn't the reason for them to get the loan. The reality is that Ford was on the cusp of bankruptcy and this was a loan to prevent them from falling into financial trouble. There is actually some reasons behind each loan and what was done with the money on the wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Technology_Vehicles_Manufacturing_Loan_Program
        Maddoxx
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
        Bush initially started the program to give new technology start ups loans from the government, it was Obama's administration and secretary of Energy Steven Chu who signed off on those loans, sometimes you pick winners and sometimes you pick losers. The most important thing is taking accountability for your choices. So Obama lent a few million to Fisker without checking to see if the company can be solvent it. Although Fisker is a fail we just learn move on and gamble smarter. You don't evolve if you don't take risks.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Maddoxx
          Read my response to motorhead. Chu can't arbitrarily change the approval criteria set in place by the Bush Administration. Chu went throught the checklist and Fisker met the criteria (like matching funds).
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