Fisker Hires Ex-GM, Ex-Hyundai Marketing Chief Joel Ewanick

Joel Ewanick at the 2010 LA Auto Show

Joel Ewanick at the 2010 LA Auto Show

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When it comes to automotive executives, perhaps none is more resilient than former General Motors marketing head Joel Ewanick.

Dismissed by GM last July over an expensive sponsorship deal with English football club Manchester United, Ewanick has been named as Fisker’s interim head of global sales and marketing.

As Automotive News (subscription required) explains, Ewanick replaces Richard Beattie, who announced his retirement from the struggling electric automaker on Monday.

Beattie, whose career includes time with Ford, Mazda and Jaguar, was hired as Fisker’s chief commercial officer in December of 2011. Though Ewanick’s appointment is officially temporary, it seems likely that he’s a leading candidate for the role vacated by Beattie.

Ewanick has been consulting with Fisker since October, and previously worked with Fisker CEO Tony Posawatz at GM. In fact, this relationship is likely what drew Ewanick to Fisker in the first place.

Posawatz was upbeat about Ewanick’s appointment, saying, “As we seek to appoint a long-term successor, there is no one better than Joel, with his wealth of motor industry experience and knowledge to guide us through this interim period. I am delighted to welcome him to the Fisker team.”

Ewanick, who spent time at both Hyundai and Nissan before being hired by GM in 2010, certainly has his work cut out for him.

Fisker desperately needs an image make-over, as the brand has been struggling with recalls and quality issues since its launch of the Karma sedan. A series of Karma fires hasn’t helped sell cars, either.

The brand must now turn its attention towards opening a new Midwest technical center, something it sees as a necessary step in the development of the Atlantic sedan.

That’s a full plate for any automaker, let alone one with a revolving door in its executive offices.


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