Charged EVs | Is Fisker finished, or could it ascend from the ashes again?

In an industry replete with colorful and quixotic characters, Fisker stands out as a once-promising brand that, after almost 20 years of existence, has never quite made it out of the startup phase.

The entertaining but tragic saga (which I have chronicled at length elsewhere), began in 2005, and includes a made-for-tabloids lawsuit with Tesla, a prominent role in the 2011 US presidential election, safety investigations, battery recalls, more lawsuits, and a freak storm.

The original Fisker Automotive produced about 1,800 units of the Karma—a PHEV that is by all accounts a fine vehicle—from 2011 to 2012, then went belly-up and was bought by a Chinese group. In 2016, Henrik Fisker separately relaunched his namesake company, which created a battery-electric crossover called the Ocean. This is (or was) produced by contract auto manufacturer Magna International, and deliveries began in 2023.

At the end of 2023, Fisker announced that some 10,000 Oceans had been built. In March of this year, the company reported that it had a stockpile of over 4,000 vehicles, and slashed prices to the $24,000 range. By then it was too late—in April Fisker warned in an SEC filing that it might have to file for bankruptcy soon. Layoffs and office closings followed, and the NYSE de-listed Fisker stock. Fisker’s Austrian unit filed for bankruptcy protection this week, but says it “intends to continue delivering its vehicles to customers to the extent possible.”

The latest bad news came from Magna. During a recent earnings call, CEO Swami Kotagiri that production of the Ocean “is currently idled,” and that his company’s “current outlook…assumes no further production.”

Is this the end for Fisker, or just another of the comic book deaths the company has suffered through over the last 19 years? Fisker says it’s seeking additional funding or a potential buyer. In April, Henrik Fisker said the company was in talks with four automakers regarding a possible acquisition.

Sources: InsideEVs, Business Insider, Carscoops