Fisker suspends its EV production

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Following recent reports that Fisker is preparing for a possible bankruptcy filing, today the troubled automaker announced that it is suspending all manufacturing of its electric vehicles.

“Fischer will pause production for six weeks beginning the week of March 18, 2024, to align inventory levels and progress strategic and financing initiatives,” the company said in a statement.

Fisker further said it had secured financing commitments of “up to $150 million” from an existing investor. The funding will be disbursed in four installments, but there is no guarantee; Fisker said it is subject to “certain conditions,” including the company’s filing of its 2023 Form 10-K, a comprehensive report filed annually by public companies about their financial performance.

WIRED asked a PR representative for Fisker to detail what exactly “some of the conditions” are for securing the new investment. He declined to provide additional details.

EV sales have broadly slowed in the US, but Fisker has been particularly hit hard. Arguably, it lost a degree of quality control when it handed manufacturing over to Canada-based supplier Magna. Furthermore, Fisker prioritized style over substance, as evidenced by the build and software issues with its Ocean SUV. These issues have led to the idea that in the car world there is no substitute for the experience gained from building vehicles for a century, as, say, BMW has.

Looking for a potential lifeboat, Fisker has also confirmed that it is in talks with “a large automaker” for an investment in the company, joint development of one or more electric vehicle platforms and North American manufacturing. According to Reuters, that company is reportedly Nissan. However, it seems these negotiations are far from complete, as Fisker’s statement also said that “any transaction will be subject to the satisfaction of important conditions, including completion of due diligence and negotiations and appropriate definitive agreements.” “involves the execution of.”

WIRED tested the Fisker Ocean in July 2023, but due to the incomplete nature of the test car, was left in the unprecedented position of being unable to provide a rating for the EV. Our test Ocean was plagued with creaky pedals, an idle California mode (where the EV drops all its windows except the windscreen) that the car had to switch off in the middle of the test, and poor handling that had to be fixed with a software update. Was Needed. Simply put, a lot of features were missing or “coming soon,” making the Ocean SUV an EV we couldn’t properly rate.

Since launch, the Ocean has struggled with quality issues, with owners complaining of sudden power loss, glitchy key fobs and sensors, hood flying open and brake problems.

In fact, Fisker board member Wendy Gruel took delivery of her Ocean SUV shortly after it lost power on a public road. Similarly, according to a cache of internal documents seen by TechCrunch, Geeta Gupta Fisker, the company’s chief financial officer, chief operating officer and wife of co-founder Henrik Fisker, experienced a power outage while driving in Ocean.

The Fisker has a checkered history beyond the ocean. It’s been more than a decade since its eponymous owner, who previously owned BMW, Ford and Aston Martin (where he was design director), last introduced a car bearing his name. The Karma, a range-extender sports GT, was ahead of its time in many respects, but it was beset with problems, including disastrous consumer Reports Trial and Fire.

The current situation of the company looks disappointing. Fisker says it has approximately 4,700 vehicles in its inventory, covering production from 2023 through 2024, and it believes the full vehicle value for this inventory is more than $200 million. It plans to deliver 1,300 vehicles in 2024 and 4,900 vehicles to customers in 2023.

In February, Fisker reported that it had sales of $273 million last year, but that it had more than $1 billion in debt. It also issued a warning that there was “substantial doubt” about its ability to remain in business. The prolonged halt in production appears to be further strengthening that suspicion.

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