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American plug-in hybrid automaker Fisker Automotive has been through some tough times since losing its Department of Energy loan. More than 300 Karmas were destroyed by hurricane Sandy - and they weren't covered by the insurance company - its battery supplier filed for bankruptcy, and 75 percent of its employees were laid off in April. There have been more issues, but you get the point...

Multiple potential buyers have tried to negotiate the purchase of Fisker to no avail, including former General Motors' former CEO Bob Lutz and several Chinese investors. Now German investment group Fritz Nols AG will give it a shot. Fritz Nols has offered $25 million to buy the distressed automaker, De Telegraaf reports, which is a relatively low offer. The article notes Fisker's outstanding debt of $173 million to the US government and the fact that it has been over a year since the last Karma was produced.

Fritz Nols' head Ingo Voigt says that if the deal went through, the investment group would aim to produce 2,500 Karmas per year and reintroduce it to the US market. Voigt also says that the Karma Surf and Sunset, shooting brake and convertible variants, respectively, would be produced down the line, but the Atlantic would not be released due to cost considerations.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 61 Comments
      RC
      • 1 Year Ago
      Perhaps Fisker could be rehabilitated after all. Though ditching the Atlantis is a mistake, it is yet another case of a short sighted vision.
      Koenigsegg
      • 1 Year Ago
      lol car is so oddly shaped
        LUVSTER
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        That is not the only one they have. That is the Surf which is 5 door which I would not have built. The others are 4 door. I would have built a 2door coupe instead before something like the 5 door.
      Bernard
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Germans are so desperate to catch up to Tesla. Good luck guys, electronics in German cars have never been anything to write home about and apparently the same is true of Fisker...
      sp33dklz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just let it die already. Beaten horse is dead.
      JVP
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think the failure of Fisker was a spectacular success. Yes success, follow me on this one. The US Gov't gave several loans to spur on the emerging technology of vehicle electrification, and to establish the US as the brain center for these cars. They gave money to Fisker, Tesla and other. This was essentially venture capital. In the VC world, only 1 out of several bets needs to pay off to make it worth it. Fisker bombed, the management was cocky and "the car was half-baked" (quote from Lutz, who don't always agree with). But Tesla succeeded, and boy do they look like a disruptive company. VC's love disruptive companies. The success of Tesla will pay enough dividends to the US economy to make all the other failed bets well worth the investment.
        mbukukanyau
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JVP
        you have a point. A Rare Gem at AB you are.
          johnb
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mbukukanyau
          LOL. you guys crack me up. JVP sounds like a gambling addict begging for one more dollar out on the casino sidewalk for "one more chance!" How much more debt and "investment" do we need to make all those other failed bets work out hmmm?
          Technoir
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mbukukanyau
          johnb VC firms make money on only 1 out of 10 investments, on average. That 1 that makes it...normally pays for all the losses incurred by 9 others.
        dude
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JVP
        except states are trying to make it so you can buy a tesla
      hgeorgech
      • 1 Year Ago
      A fiasco in the making ... throwing good money after bad. Fisker was - is - and always be -- a farce
        Jason
        • 1 Year Ago
        @hgeorgech
        I can't disagree, but holy mother of God that Surf and Sunset is a beauty!
      MAX
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ford should buy it to help the sorry Lincoln horseless carriage division.
        hgeorgech
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MAX
        Lincoln may be ... R, I, P, after the 2016 model year ... key suppliers already forewarned of the possibility
          express2day
          • 1 Year Ago
          @hgeorgech
          Suppliers have a right to be somewhat concerned about the future of any number of domestic brands e.g. the ongoing significant incentives spend and excess inventory issues continue to be a behind the scenes drag on Cadillac. Fortunately there are many exciting changes and new products coming from domestics over the next few years so things are likely to be ok but, as usual, anything is possible. The media seems to like to focus doom and gloom on certain brands but the reality is others are potentially in as bad or worse shape.
          Bernard
          • 1 Year Ago
          @hgeorgech
          Lincoln needs to die. It's embarrassing its ancestors...
      Archonic
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's roughly 24 million more than Fisker is worth.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Archonic
        Its worth nothing since they have no sales, no product, and no IP. Factor in the $173 million owed to the government, and you have a company worth minus $173,000,000.
      m_2012
      • 1 Year Ago
      Will this thing ever go away? Either put an LS in it, or hang it up forever. 5500 pound car being propelled by an under-powered EV drive train charged by a highly inefficient ICE engine. Fiskers performance and efficiency just dont cut it next to the Tesla. Combined with cramped interior, smaller storage, and ICE maintenance, its just a loser all the way around.
        Greg Dudevoir
        • 1 Year Ago
        @m_2012
        How can you compare it to Tesla? Tesla is EV only, you are subjected to the limited range of the battery. You call a 959 ft/lb torque under powered?? How is the ICE inefficient when its main goal is to keep the battery charged? The ICE has never failed at this (unless you run it out of gas). It sounds more like you do not fully understand the EVer power plant at all. IMO Fisker should come out with a traditional power plant, continue with the EVer and also make an EV version (that you could actually compare to Tesla). Then they would have something for everyone!!
        Grooveman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @m_2012
        m_2012, I have a Karma, have over 10,500 miles and have put 29 gallons of gas in it in a year and a half. With the exception of a few minor software glitches early on, I've had absolutely no problems with the car. It's one of the best looking cars every designed. I'm 6'2" and don't feel cramped driving it and it's very quick off the line for a "heavy" car. If their battery maker hadn't filed for bankruptcy they'd still be producing and selling cars.
      EVnerdGene
      • 1 Year Ago
      Thank you so much. So you're offering $25M + the $172M we owe to the DOE + $xM we owe to our suppliers + $xM we owe to our landlord + $xM we owe to settle our payroll, payroll taxes and benefit accounts + $xM we owe to our dealers for warranty service + $xM we owe to Valmet + $xM we owe to our accountants, underwriters, lawyers, , , , , OK, we'll consider that. ( didn't mention private investors - did I ? )
        Marco Polo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        @ EVnerdGene Now, now Gene, you can't have it both ways ! Either you accept the principles of free enterprise, or you don't ! Potential bankruptcy is a fundamental part of the free enterprise system. All creditors take a risk when extending credit. If the enterprise fails, the creditor must accept his loss a part of the risks of doing business ! 'White Knights' , who believe (for whatever reason) that aspects of the failed enterprise are still valuable, are entitled to invest whatever they believe those aspects are worth. Whatever the enterprise owes, and to whom, is not, should not, be the potential purchasers concern ! Not should it be the concern of the individual in charge of the bankruptcy. The only concern should be maximizing the return to the creditors, not any 'moral' aspects. I'm quite sure that Fritz Nols AG's highly respected directors, such as Ernst-Henning Graf von Hardenberg, and Dr. Dirk Unrau, are very experienced and serious businessmen, and how they invest $25 million is their business. What's not in doubt, is the capacity of Fitz Nols AG to pay the $25 million. I'm sure that Henrik Fisker will be able to work better with Fitz Nols AG, than a PRC company.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          err, coupla hundred thou a year
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          National debt of $300B. $13,636. per capita in AU. Crap, I'd be concerned also. US national debt in the past six years ~$7,000B + $2,300B printed (QEs) $31,000. per person. Not bad, 2.3 times less. Now look at when added to our previous national debt. $64,300 per person. -- yes I have included QEs in our national debt - should be obvious why (and 2/3rds of our 300M don't work, so it's actually $193,000. per worker - let's import more minimum wage workers, that'll help !!! ) Liberal leaders seem to be from the school that thinks you can spend your way out of debt. Sounds logical; buzzwords - stimulate, seed, support, fairness, equality, , , What really works is reducing government, and getting the hell out of the way free enterprise. Since 2008, we have not reduced government, on any level (in fact most of the stimulus went to bailing-out local [city, county, state] governments, instead of putting them on a diet.) Everyone is still bloated, and still doing their job of standing in the way of progress, instead of getting the hell out of the way. Did uncle sugar really help Tesla by loaning them $.5B? Or did they give them an unfair advantage compared to a potential competitor ? You can't really answer that; but it is one of the problems of government intervention in any market. Like us giving military and financial aid to Egypt (and soon Syria); we're not really smart enough to know if it will help or hurt in the long run, are we ? But it makes us feel so good ? - and smart ! Soooooo, we shouldn't meddle in world affairs, and government should stay the f out of green markets, housing markets, student loan markets, and thinking they can do healthcare better than private industry. I hate communists - except you Dan, you don't count.
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ EVnerdGene "Yeah, yeah, yeah; I realize creditors also are at risk. But when I extend credit to someone I expect to be paid - ( or I want a significant piece of hide or psychological relief - like someone being charged with criminal negligence " Hmmm... you don't seem to understand the concept of 'commercial risk', or your own responsibility for your credit judgment. Nor do you seem to grasp the fact that the amount owed to creditors, has nothing to do with the value to the purchaser. Free enterprise is about commercial risk. You don't extend credit as a favour, you extend credit to make money. To gain a commercial advantage. You have to accept any losses (except in a case of fraud) with equanimity. It's just the cost of doing business. If you're going to take it to heart, then don't extend commercial credit. You can take heart from the fact that all creditors, have a higher ranking in any bankruptcy agreement, than 'investors'. As to whether governments should provide loans, or loan guarantees, or even incentive grants, that's a political decision. You are fully entitled to campaign for the abolition of such government policies, and if enough citizens agree with you, that will become government policy.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Australia can't be this out-of-control ? lobbyists getting state pensions: http://news.yahoo.com/private-lobbyists-public-pensions-20-states-140450550.html Newspaper article about 10 years ago; about 50 "consultants" in California meet one time a year, and get paid $99,000. Don't remember if they also got benefits. Probably so. DOE - $6M per year to manage four AVMT loans. Where do I find these jobs ? I can handle some brown-stuff on my nose for a coupla thou a year.
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ EVnerdGene Six years ago, after 11 years of Liberal/National Party (centre-right) government, Australia a highly developed nation of 22 million people, had reduced its government and foreign debt to Zero, had regular budget surpluses exceeding 20 billion, and had created a 'Soverign Wealth Investment Fund", with 50 billion dollars. Today, after a mere six years of Labour/Green later, (centre left/left) government, Australia has a budget deficit of 30 billion, no money in the Soverign Wealth Investment Fund", and a national debt of 300 billion ! You may well ask what happened? Especially since Australia was one of the few developed nations to be sheltered from the GFC of 2008-9. It fact Australia experienced an unprecedented mining boom created by the expansion of the PRC economy. Labour was elected on a platform of hype about a "green revolution" ! Green political dogma, reached a level of hysteria unprecedented since the Dutch went crazy over Tulips. The idealistic, but unrealistic, Labour/green Alliance invested vast amounts of money on 'green' projects, with no thought of how those projects or the money was to be managed, or any accountability. Not was any thought given to the complexities or consequences. In the ensuing chaos, policies were perused accompanied by grand gestures and populist rhetoric, but little responsibility. Today, the party's over and most of the revelers have departed, leaving only the most deluded, and opportunistic to try and convince the electorate that it's no ones fault. Labour's election strategy is a desperate scare campaign to convince voters that an incoming government's financially responsible economic measures, will cause some pain. (I can't really complain, since financially I did very well riding the 'green' speculation boom.) Like you, I'm an admirer of the late President Reagan, and the dignified way he conducted himself as President. " I'm looking for John Galt " Look no further. As Dagny Taggart exclaimed, "we are all John Galt !" :)
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ EVnerdGene Oh, sorry gene, I meant to add, it's doubtful that any Australian would buy Fisker as we are still figuring out how to pay for the gigantic public debt run up in a mere six years by our own profligate Left-green Labour government ! (at least the DOE had a few wins like Tesla, Australia just got disaster followed by incompetent disaster) The Australian General Election is to be held on September 7, and already most of the governments most senior ministers have retired rather than face their electors !
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          I wish some, err most, of our senior azzholes would retire. Sounds like Australia is in just as big a mess as the US. Very hard to believe. I owned a business for a number of years. When I had someone default on paying me for something, I made their lives miserable for a while. Most defaults are because people decide to default. Makes me wonder what Henrik is up to right now? Ohh, my dear, please pass the Grey Poupon. [ come on don't blame the hurricane - that was a case of the dumbass also - why no insurance ? ] What did we read; he and Bernhard paid themselves - $600-something thou a year ? Sounds reasonable for 'automotive executives' ? Yeah, maybe successful ones. Reagan hit the nail on the head about 30-something years ago; "Government is not the answer to our problems, government is the problem." I'm looking for John Galt
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          "advanced technology" - None. Yeah, I said that four years ago. One of my chief gripes about even being considered for the ATVM program. I'd guess Henrik and Bernhardt may be involved in the German offer ? Thinking like a businessman instead of a DOE bureaucrat ($6M per year to manage 4 loans - LOL); I'd pretty much ignore the German offer until they get real. The other IP (trademarks, copyrights, design patents) may be worth much much more than any technical IP (utility patents). Oh, you want to use that same buck-toothed grill design ? ; yeah, we'll sell'ya that design patent for $172M. Use the 'Surf' name ? - that one's a bargain at only $25M. Yeah, good luck to them. 'Show me the money.' - Syria - yeah, agree with you 110%. Of course we do need to be concerned with the use and movement of Saddam's WMDs. Maybe a strategically placed Cruise missile with a real target (instead of an aspirin factory) ?
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @Marco Yeah, I believe in free enterprise and all that (a lot more than most). Butt I see $25M as a low-ball of a low-ball offer - considering $1BigOne was invested in this turd. OK, let's take that $25M and distribute it proportionately to all creditors (not investors - investors were just gamblers). The creditors I listed were all businesses or people extending credit, not investing, and expecting to be paid. Yeah, yeah, yeah; I realize creditors also are at risk. But when I extend credit to someone I expect to be paid - ( or I want a significant piece of hide or psychological relief - like someone being charged with criminal negligence ). The DOE loan was a loan. Not an investment. Let's divey up that $25M and the DOE would probably get, what $3M out of $25M ? Yet another lousy loan made by our genius bureaucrats. DOE, DOA, DOS, , , , stay out of the f'ing loan business AND loan guarantees. Like you've heard me say from the beginning, Not a single one of the measly 5 loans the DOE made, should have been made: Nissan, Ford - raise your own damn money. Tesla has proven it can raise all the money it needs in private markets. Handicapped vehicle manufacturer that just defaulted - WHAT has that got to do with "Advanced Manufacturing" ? Frisker - rich boy toy, inefficient series hybrid based on a chebbie 4-banger, made in Finland, overweight pig. Biden-Gore wink wink. Advanced manufacturing ? I just wish some Australian would buy it so I never have to think about the $172M flushed down the toilet ever again.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          err forgot - the issue was the $25 little ones (million). Me being the DOE (a stakeholder in Frisker), I'd say NoFingWay. All the money we spent for "advanced manufacturing technology" - (whatever that might be with Frisker) and we're just going to give it to a German company for pennies on the dollar ? I'd burn it first. $25M is chump change to the DOE strategery ? burn it
      lordedardstark1
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think it should be bought by an American company because we don't want all of the "investment" to go to waste.
        Archonic
        • 1 Year Ago
        @lordedardstark1
        That's exactly why they shouldn't be bought by an American company. Another wasted 25 million.
      rboote
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope someone buys it. It's a beautiful car, and the range extending engine makes it great competition for the Model S. Plus Lutz's LS9 version is pretty sweet too.
        Greg Dudevoir
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rboote
        It is not competition for the Tesla. It is an option for someone that wants to go electric or green but is not ready to be limited by a battery range and long charge times. The only way to make them competition is if Fisker made an EV only version. I believe they would sell a lot more if they made all 3 versions EV, EVer & ICE.
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