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Fisker’s filed for bankruptcy… again

Build pretty electrified model, file for bankruptcy, rinse, repeat

Published: 18 Jun 2024

Electric car start-up boss Henrik Fisker has filed for company bankruptcy, for a second time.

The bottom line is thus: Fisker Inc. has run out of cash and needs to start liquidating its assets to pay back its debt, totalling up to $500 million (£393m).

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Without any serious cash injection in sight, Fisker has called for a ‘chapter 11’ bankruptcy. That means the founder can retain control but put a stop to attempts to collect any more money. It’s known as a ‘reorganisation bankruptcy’ and it's a protection move to stop things getting any worse.

We knew something was up at the end of last year. First the EV start-up cut the price of its Ocean SUV model, then as US law requires, it flagged cashflow issues with investors in February after 2023 sales were less than 25 per cent of what they’d been forecast.

Not only did that catalyse a massive price drop from over $60k to less than forty grand for the top trim Ocean, but it also prompted discussions with a larger manufacturer, thought to be Nissan. Those negotiations reportedly aimed to get production on the small "Pear" city car project and/or Fisker's pick-up ambitions started, but clearly they've stalled.

It's a shame, since there were over 5,000 pre-orders of the Pear as of February's investor report. And notwithstanding the software glitches, the inconsistent regen and the questionable use of some plastics in the cabin, the 400-mile-plus Fisker Ocean EV isn’t a terrible car. Or should that be 'wasn't'?

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Sadly, Henrik’s been here before. The CEO – designer of the BMW Z8 and Aston Martin DB9 don't forget – founded Fisker Automotive in 2007 and produced the very pretty, albeit pricey Karma plug-in hybrid. It was so good, we made it our 2012 Luxury Car of the Year.

But there were fires. And Hurricane Sandy destroyed some of its cars, which didn't help either. And then the firm took a very large loan from the US government, which it couldn’t pay back, so Fisker Automotive filed a chapter 11 back then.

A pretty messy deal ensued, but the long and short of it is thus: Henrik got to keep the logo and trademarks and founded Fisker Inc. with his wife.

This time, Fisker reckons market conditions haven't been on his side. More as we get it.

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