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Fisker Karma

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,705
22,701
Texas
I'm really not too concerned about this kind of coverage because the Prius did okay and it had (and still has in some places) the same kind of negative coverage. The only thing the Prius didn't have was the U.S. government loan (Japanese government support is another story.) The main thing that worked for the Prius was Prius owners talking it up and telling everyone that would listen that what they were hearing was basically a pack of lies--and they had the car and the data to prove it. There is no reason it won't work the same way for Tesla.

In my opinion, people believe the media only when they don't have any other source of information (or deep rooted prejudices that nothing will change). Once they see their friends and acquaintances driving a Tesla many will want one of their own. Over the 12 years I've been a Prius owner, I've probably influenced 500 or 600 people--mostly on the web, but several of my neighbours are driving a Prius now as well, and mainly because they saw mine.
 

Iz

EVs are here to stay
Nov 22, 2006
1,080
22
New York
I feel bad for Fisker. The entire EV industry will be under a microscope with lots of eyes on Tesla now. Glad they turned a profit - that will likely be scrutinized as well.
 

kenliles

Active Member
Jun 7, 2012
3,060
8,356
Did not know there was a competition between Fisker and telsa ?

- - - Updated - - -



THERE NEVER COMPETITION between them,
EXCEPT IN YOUR MIND!

True the primary battle was to win against the status pro with a luxury high performance EV. But the battle history between Tesla and Henrik Fisker including lawsuits is more than in my mind.
 

dsm363

Roadster + Sig Model S
May 17, 2009
18,278
151
Nevada
The fact the Elon has a beef with Henrik , does not make your point, there is no competition between Telsa and Fisker , move on!

In some of the public's mind there was as both are 'electric' cars. I agree there really wasn't much competition between the two but the way the news covered and equated the two, there seemed to be.
 

kenliles

Active Member
Jun 7, 2012
3,060
8,356
The fact the Elon has a beef with Henrik , does not make your point, there is no competition between Telsa and Fisker , move on!

He didn't just 'have a beef'. The claim was Fisker stole Tesla technology. Fisker produced an EV targeted to similar market space. You have a point which I acknowledged, but it's no where near as clear cut as 'No competition' and 'move on'. The powers at Tesla that know much more about it than you ever will, indicated by their actions, a different position than you advocate.
 

doug

Administrator / Head Moderator
Nov 28, 2006
16,927
1,041
SF Bay Area
Lets keep it friendly. Ultimately, Tesla lost that lawsuit in arbitration and had to pay Fisker $1.1M for their legal fees.

There were those who cross shopped between the Karma and the Model S, so there was definitely some competition in the marketplace. I see that as a good thing. I would have liked to have seen Fisker succeed so consumers could have some choice in terms of which technology worked best for them. There is space for both companies and both approaches. However competition in the form of Fanyboy rivalry, the type to which I assume Nin ja is refering, is not so helpful.

Unfortunately, Fisker made a lot of mistakes. I know there are many current Karma customers that are happy with the car they have now. But the car Fisker launched with was not ready for prime time. Those early bugs followed by some high profile fires (at least one of which was preventable!) trashed their reputation.

My hope was that they could turn it around by putting out a 2013/2014 version of the Karma with an updated drivetrain that met their original performance promises. That way the car would get re-reviewed by the car mags and give them a chance to rebuild their reputation. Instead they got prematurely distracted with their second car. In my opinion, there was no way they were going to get the Atlantic out in time to save the company.
 

spatterso911

P100DL - Raven
Mar 3, 2012
1,223
12
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
** warning - long post ***

The 'competition' will invariably be theoretical as business and econ classes use the comparative business strategies of Tesla and Fisker. Despite what some posts have previously indicated, they were dramatically different, and with dramatically different results in the end. Many future students will discuss the EV version of a tale of two cities. Doug, I agree totally, there are many folks who are pleased with their purchase, and are hopeful that there will be some sort of support system for them as they continue to use their Karmas. I also agree that too much energy was devoted to the Atlantic, but they put themselves in between a rock and a hard place.

On the one hand, you have 2000+ customers awaiting some form of improvement to the multiple sub-systems issues with the car, including production quality issues. These customers were continually angered by the lack of communication between Fisker and the consumer (early adopter), left only to communicate with dealerships who were equally blind to what was really going on. Fisker desperately needed to expand capital expenditures into improving both the ownership experience, and dealership/network relationship, in addition to pushing Visteon to improve the software, Valmet to improve production quality, A123 to improve battery performance, and various other suppliers as well. Granted, Fisker did an admirable job of developing a gorgeous prototype for an effective hybrid platform, it never got developed enough past the prototype phase until recently to merit being worthy of a demanding consumer market. There was simply too much IP and R&D in the hands of suppliers, and poor systems integration at that. That is the Rock...

The Hard place was when Fisker developed the Delaware deal and promised jobs to the politicians and unemployed there. They also promised to use the funding from DOE to develop the plant and start production of the Atlantic. Funding from DOE was mission-critical for them, despite what many Fisker owners were led to believe (due to the degree of private investor funding -- approx. 1 billion or so USD). My belief is that Fisker needed to show some advancement on the Atlantic project so that they could assuage some fears. They poured a ton of CAPEX into that project, though, despite lagging sales in their primary project, Project Karma. A real hard place to be in.

The pinch between the rock and the hard place developed as they lost general consumer confidence due to poor or lackluster reviews, CR most notably, MT second-hand, then lost 2 cars due to fires (the second was totally avoidable, though!), began to lose dealership sponsorship, lost their battery supplier (A123, now B456) during a time when they were trying to launch a massive battery recall, had to recall their cars for the fan issue, lost 300+ cars in Sandy, lost 2 cars to fires and had to weather mounting political criticism all the while struggling to develop a balanced leadership, first with Fisker himself, then with LaSorda, then with Posawatz. Dealerships dropped the label and refused to support the car, production had to stop as they likely had to divert funding to keep the brain and heart pumping, plus, where the heck would they get the batteries from? Need funding to develop an alternate supply of batteries from a different supplier! No sales = massive hemorrhage of cash and reserves. This led to desperate attempts to find a life support system and cash infusion vis a vis Geely, DongFeng, or Wanxieng. Neither bit, due to restrictions, inability to escape the loan liability or access the additional funding, and a host of other factors I may never know. Of course, when the namesake and lead designer to your company leaves you in the dust, it doesn't bode well for negotiations! Last hope gone, biding time to see if anyone else would step up to the plate, the furloughs began, but that was just poor strategy. It would never suffice to keep the company afloat, leading to immediate lay-offs (possibly illegally!). I wonder if the BK attorneys advised them to do this? Who knows...

Now, you have 20 some-odd executives posting up for the big sell off. Where can Fisker go from here??

Well, some companies (likely the Chinese) can dissect Fisker assets after Chapter 7 BK occurs, the company could enter Ch. 11 BK and attempt to restructure and develop a payment plan to save face, but that requires some form of income which does not exist as of yet. Perhaps Warren Buffet with his BYD connection will step in to fund things (unlikely). In the end, it's a crying shame. As crazy as this sounds...Tesla needed Fisker. Fisker needs Tesla. They both justify the continued expansion of the EV cause, infrastructure, consumer mindset and general hope for the future. They were the only real foragers in an oil field, looking for a little green to poke through, and now, one has just starved itself to death.
 

Nin ja

Member
Feb 18, 2013
23
0
Chantilly Virginia
** warning - long post ***

The 'competition' will invariably be theoretical as business and econ classes use the comparative business strategies of Tesla and Fisker. Despite what some posts have previously indicated, they were dramatically different, and with dramatically different results in the end. Many future students will discuss the EV version of a tale of two cities. Doug, I agree totally, there are many folks who are pleased with their purchase, and are hopeful that there will be some sort of support system for them as they continue to use their Karmas. I also agree that too much energy was devoted to the Atlantic, but they put themselves in between a rock and a hard place.

On the one hand, you have 2000+ customers awaiting some form of improvement to the multiple sub-systems issues with the car, including production quality issues. These customers were continually angered by the lack of communication between Fisker and the consumer (early adopter), left only to communicate with dealerships who were equally blind to what was really going on. Fisker desperately needed to expand capital expenditures into improving both the ownership experience, and dealership/network relationship, in addition to pushing Visteon to improve the software, Valmet to improve production quality, A123 to improve battery performance, and various other suppliers as well. Granted, Fisker did an admirable job of developing a gorgeous prototype for an effective hybrid platform, it never got developed enough past the prototype phase until recently to merit being worthy of a demanding consumer market. There was simply too much IP and R&D in the hands of suppliers, and poor systems integration at that. That is the Rock...

The Hard place was when Fisker developed the Delaware deal and promised jobs to the politicians and unemployed there. They also promised to use the funding from DOE to develop the plant and start production of the Atlantic. Funding from DOE was mission-critical for them, despite what many Fisker owners were led to believe (due to the degree of private investor funding -- approx. 1 billion or so USD). My belief is that Fisker needed to show some advancement on the Atlantic project so that they could assuage some fears. They poured a ton of CAPEX into that project, though, despite lagging sales in their primary project, Project Karma. A real hard place to be in.

The pinch between the rock and the hard place developed as they lost general consumer confidence due to poor or lackluster reviews, CR most notably, MT second-hand, then lost 2 cars due to fires (the second was totally avoidable, though!), began to lose dealership sponsorship, lost their battery supplier (A123, now B456) during a time when they were trying to launch a massive battery recall, had to recall their cars for the fan issue, lost 300+ cars in Sandy, lost 2 cars to fires and had to weather mounting political criticism all the while struggling to develop a balanced leadership, first with Fisker himself, then with LaSorda, then with Posawatz. Dealerships dropped the label and refused to support the car, production had to stop as they likely had to divert funding to keep the brain and heart pumping, plus, where the heck would they get the batteries from? Need funding to develop an alternate supply of batteries from a different supplier! No sales = massive hemorrhage of cash and reserves. This led to desperate attempts to find a life support system and cash infusion vis a vis Geely, DongFeng, or Wanxieng. Neither bit, due to restrictions, inability to escape the loan liability or access the additional funding, and a host of other factors I may never know. Of course, when the namesake and lead designer to your company leaves you in the dust, it doesn't bode well for negotiations! Last hope gone, biding time to see if anyone else would step up to the plate, the furloughs began, but that was just poor strategy. It would never suffice to keep the company afloat, leading to immediate lay-offs (possibly illegally!). I wonder if the BK attorneys advised them to do this? Who knows...

Now, you have 20 some-odd executives posting up for the big sell off. Where can Fisker go from here??

Well, some companies (likely the Chinese) can dissect Fisker assets after Chapter 7 BK occurs, the company could enter Ch. 11 BK and attempt to restructure and develop a payment plan to save face, but that requires some form of income which does not exist as of yet. Perhaps Warren Buffet with his BYD connection will step in to fund things (unlikely). In the end, it's a crying shame. As crazy as this sounds...Tesla needed Fisker. Fisker needs Tesla. They both justify the continued expansion of the EV cause, infrastructure, consumer mindset and general hope for the future. They were the only real foragers in an oil field, looking for a little green to poke through, and now, one has just starved itself to death.


Thank you for setting the record straight .. I can't disagree with anything you said. In fact , the EV/Phev companies need each other to establish a mind set of positive for the industry; "fanboyism" , ego on "what is better" between EV verse PHEV shoud not be the chatter. I rather see comparison of Fisker and Telsa verse Aston Martin, Mercedes , Porche, BWM and jags....
 

doug

Administrator / Head Moderator
Nov 28, 2006
16,927
1,041
SF Bay Area
The Car Connection does a fairly comprehensive overview of the Fisker saga:
Fisker: An Influential Disaster

Unfortunately, the author does get a few key details wrong. Interesting though to look back on how Tesla got swept up in the political wranglings when Fisker started faltering.

ABC video: http://cdnapi.kaltura.com/index.php/kwidget/wid/0_0mr18s1z/uiconf_id/3775332/st_cache/95091

Btw, here comes the current blow back:
Sarah Palin echoes Romney: Tesla Motors 'losers' who build 'bricks' | The Raw Story
Palin was commenting on Fisker Automotive in a Facebook post. The “green” automaker was launched after receiving a loan from the Department of Energy, but has since been plagued with problems and laid off 75 percent of its workforce on Friday.

“This losing tax-subsidized venture joins other past losers like the Obama-subsidized Volt that gets 40 miles per battery charge, or like the Obama-subsidized Tesla that turns into a ‘brick’ when the battery completely discharges and then costs $40,000 to repair,” Palin wrote.
 

Nin ja

Member
Feb 18, 2013
23
0
Chantilly Virginia
The Car Connection does a fairly comprehensive overview of the Fisker saga:
Fisker: An Influential Disaster

Unfortunately, the author does get a few key details wrong. Interesting though to look back on how Tesla got swept up in the political wranglings when Fisker started faltering.

ABC video: http://cdnapi.kaltura.com/index.php/kwidget/wid/0_0mr18s1z/uiconf_id/3775332/st_cache/95091

Btw, here comes the current blow back:
Sarah Palin echoes Romney: Tesla Motors 'losers' who build 'bricks' | The Raw Story


There reason why libertrian leaning conservative attack green energy efforts is becuase they feels that goverment funding should be limited to basic research and the rest is the domain of the private sector -- I tend to agree.

But to the basis of this thread, FA failed as a business becuase of mismanagement, and to some degree, thinking they would be saved by US tax payers. With respect to Karma the car, the people at FISKER have built a compelling cars with great looks and style. Lets face it, Volt, Leaf and other efforts other then Telsa, have no style and are priced accordingly. People buy high end cars for style, not practicalities. I hope someone comes along and helps get the Fisker , or whats left, back to the market. I consider the Karma a 4door version of the Roadster, so cut the car some slack and hope something positives comes from this misfortunte.
 

kenliles

Active Member
Jun 7, 2012
3,060
8,356
There reason why libertrian leaning conservative attack green energy efforts is becuase they feels that goverment funding should be limited to basic research and the rest is the domain of the private sector -- I tend to agree...

I consider the Karma a 4door version of the Roadster, so cut the car some slack and hope something positives comes from this misfortunte.

I generally agree Basic Research is a good rule of thumb limit, but exceptions may include this kind of support when then stakes are so high (security, national benefit, climate change, etc.) and especially true when huge(oil) industries are already given government advantages via decades of lobby results.

How can Karma be a 4 door Roadster , but Fisker doesn't compete with Tesla?
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
10,170
5,085
There reason why libertrian leaning conservative attack green energy efforts is becuase they feels that goverment funding should be limited to basic research and the rest is the domain of the private sector -- I tend to agree.
I don't think that explains it. They are completely silent on other recipients: Nissan and Ford. They are also silent on fossil fuel subsidies for oil, coal, or natural gas. The drum beating only happens when it's attached to something with a "green" label.

And government loan guarantee programs are not a new thing. Bush passed many of these (and the AVTM loan program being discussed here is just one of them). There was no outrage then. Now with a Democrat administration, suddenly this becomes a huge issue.
 

doug

Administrator / Head Moderator
Nov 28, 2006
16,927
1,041
SF Bay Area
Looks like the DOE is coercing Fisker to go Chapter 11, make a sale, and reimburse the taxpayer.

Fisker prepared to file Chapter 11 as soon as this week -sources: Thomson Reuters Business News - MSN Money

Fisker raised more than $1.2 billion from private investors and tapped $193 million in government loans before the DOE shut off funds in May 2011 after Fisker missed certain milestones, including delays in launching its flagship Karma plug-in hybrid.Fisker has been trying to renegotiate terms of the April 22 payment as well as the terms of its DOE loan. But while the agency has open to changes in the past, it now appears unwilling to do the same, two sources close to Fisker said.

The DOE, which has been keeping a close watch on Fisker's finances, is senior creditor in the automaker, which gives the agency the upper hand during negotiations.
"It's almost like they want Fisker to go bankrupt," one of the sources said.

The company expects a Chapter 11 reorganization would attract a number of bids from auto manufacturers, with the proceeds from any asset sale going to "pay back the taxpayer," the source said.

Fisker Struggles Mark Blow to Obama's Electric-Car Goal - Bloomberg

Fisker’s downfall after receiving $193 million in U.S. taxpayer money and producing 2,500 cars may complete the U.S. government’s transformation from electric-vehicle promoter and financier to debt collector, two years after it approved its last loan.
....
“Politically it’s obviously not a good thing,” said Jeremy Anwyl, vice chairman of auto-researcher Edmunds.com. “This is going to be another Solyndra, a poster child for perhaps a lack of due diligence on the part of the federal government when it’s investing funds.”
...
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in last year’s election campaign used the label “losers” in referring to Fisker and Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), which had its first profitable quarter in the three months ended March 31, according to Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk.

While trying to salvage its loan to Fisker, the Energy Department has pushed Tesla to speed up repayment of its $465 million loan, which the company has said it will do.
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
10,170
5,085
Fisker Struggles Mark Blow to Obama's Electric-Car Goal - Bloomberg
While trying to salvage its loan to Fisker, the Energy Department has pushed Tesla to speed up repayment of its $465 million loan, which the company has said it will do.
I have never heard of the DOE giving any pressure to Tesla to repay the loan early (in fact they let Tesla off on some of the terms a while back when cash was tight). AFAIK Tesla repaying the loan early is just for the PR value. Is this just the reporter trying to fit things into his narrative?
 

Nin ja

Member
Feb 18, 2013
23
0
Chantilly Virginia
I don't think that explains it. They are completely silent on other recipients: Nissan and Ford. They are also silent on fossil fuel subsidies for oil, coal, or natural gas. The drum beating only happens when it's attached to something with a "green" label.

And government loan guarantee programs are not a new thing. Bush passed many of these (and the AVTM loan program being discussed here is just one of them). There was no outrage then. Now with a Democrat administration, suddenly this becomes a huge issue.

There was outrage then by many libertarians , the media was not reporting it .. See American thinker for past postings...

- - - Updated - - -

How can Karma be a 4 door Roadster , but Fisker doesn't compete with Tesla?


I was merely pointing out Fiskers first attempt was a 4 door , verse telsa 2dr roadster. Same issues with first cars.. You do remember the issues with roadster ? Luckily it did not kill off telsa effort to make its second version..
 

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