Fisker Karma

It looks as if electric carmaker Fisker is about to join the ranks of companies like like Studebaker, Packard, and Duesenberg: Great automotive companies that failed.

The automaker, which hasn't produced a single car since last year, laid off about three-fourths of its workers at its California headquarters on Friday. The company issued a statement saying it is pursuing "strategic alternatives" to manage its way through its financial woes, but couldn't avoid the layoffs.

"The company regrets having to terminate any of its hard-working and talented people," the company said in its statement. "But this was a necessary strategic step in our efforts to maximize the value of Fisker's core assets."

Fisker's troubles show how hard it is to break into the auto industry. Cars cost a lot of money to develop, build, and eventually sell. They consist of thousands of parts that can act unexpectedly once customers get their hands on the vehicle -- a lesson Fisker learned the hard way after a couple of its vehicles caught fire.

It's the second alternative car maker to start circling the drain in the past few weeks. Carbon Motors, which was trying to make a high-powered fuel-efficient police car, recently packed up its belongings from its plant in Indiana and stopped operating. Its CEO, William Santana Li, did not return emails from AOL Autos.

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Statement of Fisker Automotive Inc., Friday, April 5, 2013

Over the last several months, Fisker Automotive Inc. has been considering strategic alternatives that would allow the Company work through its current financial challenges.

Throughout this process our primary goal has been to maximize the core value of the Fisker technology and the business that we have created.

Our efforts to secure a strategic alliance or partnership are continuing in earnest, but unfortunately we have reached a point where a significant reduction in our workforce has become necessary.

Today, Fisker met with a group of employees in our Southern California office to inform them that this is their last day with the company. Yesterday, we met with a core group of employees in Southern California to express our desire that they remain with the company while we continue to address the challenges before us. We expect that at the end of the day we will have retained approximately 25 percent of our workforce.

The Company regrets having to terminate any of its hardworking and talented people. But this was a necessary strategic step in our efforts to maximize the value of Fisker's core assets.
TRANSLOGIC 95: Fisker Karma Extended-Range EV Drive