Another 'Tesla Killer' Acquitted of All Charges: Fisker Prepares To File for Bankruptcy

Fisker Ocean 6 photos
Photo: Fisker
Fisker Ocean has a limited launch control functionFisker Ocean has a limited launch control functionFisker Ocean has a limited launch control functionFisker Ocean has a limited launch control functionFisker Ocean has a limited launch control function
Fisker acknowledged its critical financial situation after recently admitting to investors that it sought new partnerships and funding to avoid shutting down. The EV startup has failed to convince people to buy its vehicles, and it's now preparing to file for bankruptcy. This would be the second time Henry Fisker failed to create a viable auto company.
Fisker was one of the EV startups that garnered a lot of attention throughout 2023, as it started deliveries of the Ocean SUV and laid out plans to bring more EV models to market. These included the electric pickup truck Alaska. Despite the hype surrounding the company, it failed to find buyers for its electric vehicles. Although its contract manufacturing partner, Magna Steyr, built over 10,000 Fisker Ocean SUVs in 2023, only half were delivered to customers.

This put the company in a difficult position, which Fisker acknowledged during the Q4 2023 earnings call. Without prospects to find more buyers for its vehicles and a cash reserve running on empty, Fisker is reportedly preparing to file for bankruptcy. The company reported last month that it sold EVs worth $273 million in 2023 while holding over $1 billion in debt.

Fisker Ocean's many quality issues could explain the lackluster sales. The electric crossover is subject to two NHTSA investigations after 68 owners complained about loss of braking performance and unintended vehicle movement. The Fisker Ocean was also riddled with software bugs, as YouTuber Marques Brownlee revealed in his most viral video to date. It's no wonder Fisker found it nearly impossible to offload the 5,000 vehicles in stock.

According to a report (paywall) from the Wall Street Journal, Fisker hired restructuring advisors to work on a potential bankruptcy filing. Although the EV startup declined to comment on the report, it comes after Fisker warned investors in February that it might not have enough money to survive through the year. At the time, Fisker announced that talks with potential investors were being initiated to raise more money to keep the company afloat.

Rumors also indicated that the company was trying to convince Nissan to form a partnership to produce the electric pickup Alaska in the US. Nissan could've been Fisker's second manufacturing partner besides Magna, but it appears the startup will not live enough to see it through. It's unclear whether Nissan might be interested in buying Fisker if it files for bankruptcy. After all, Nissan did exactly that with Mitsubishi in 2016 after exposing its partner for cheating about fuel efficiency.

If Fisker files for bankruptcy, it would be the second time Henry Fisker failed to create a viable car company. His first attempt, Fisker Automotive, filed for bankruptcy in 2013 after Hurricane Sandy wiped out much of its inventory. Henry Fisker sold the company's assets to a Chinese company that later started Karma Automotive. The former BMW and Aston Martin car designer retained the Fisker trademarks and brand and, in 2016, founded Fisker Inc., with his wife and co-founder Geeta Gupta-Fisker as president and CFO.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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