2012 Fisker KarmaEnlarge Photo
Hands up all those of you who'd forgotten that Fisker Automotive still exists?
The company might not have produced a car in over a year, but the struggling firm is still yet to declare bankruptcy too, as it sits in some kind of automotive hibernation until an investor or buyer can be found.
Fisker is worth a mere fraction of the $1.4 billion that originally went into the company, including its $192 million Department of Energy loan. As AutoBild reports (via our sister site Motor Authority), a German group is said to be interested in acquiring the company, for a mere $25 million.
The Frankfurt-based group, Fritz Nol, has already drawn up a restructuring plan for Fisker. One of the largest elements would involve moving Fisker production from independent Finnish manufacturer Valmet to a facility in the U.S.--likely the Wilmington, Delaware facility bought by Fisker to build its stillborn second model, the Atlantic. Fritz Nol would be getting good value for money from such a deal--the ex-GM facility cost Fisker $20 million in the first place...
The German firm would have to invest more than $25 million to get the electric automaker going again, but if the bid is successful Fritz Nol aims to build 2,500 more Karmas, before adding other planned models like the Surf shooting brake and Sunset convertible.
Fritz Nol is just one of several investors who've shown an interest since the company laid off most of its staff back in April. Bob Lutz, whose VL Automotive concern previewed a V-8-powered Karma called the Destino, put in a bid back in May. Fisker's namesake and original founder Henrik Fisker also showed an interest in the company, with the backing of a Hong Kong-based investor group. Fisker had left his company a few months earlier, in March.
Since the bankruptcy of battery supplier A123 systems last year, Fisker Automotive has suffered a continual downward slide. Fires, flooding at a Hurricane Sandy-ravaged port and subsequent issues with insurance following the incident compounded with other issues, leaving the automaker struggling for survival.
With investors still interested there may yet be hope for Fisker--but the company is worth the smallest fraction of what it once was.