Information portal about cars
Four for the Automotive Hall of Fame
Mini Acura NSX Back on the Table
The High Cost of Building Autos
Subaru Continues to Break Away From The Pack
The Beginning of the End of Driving
Hyundai Plans Fuel-Cell Tucson
Audi Crosslane: A Hybrid Mongrel That Leans Electric
Charging Ahead on an Electric Highway
One Big Step for Tesla, One Giant Leap for E.V.’s
Soft Sales Crimp Outlook for Electric Cars
Cash Flows Are Critical for Tesla
Why Your Car Isn’t Electric
For Some Drivers, an Electric Motorcycle Could Be the Best of Both Worlds
In the Catskills, Coming Up Aces in a Vehicular Poker Game
Electric Motorcycles in Search of a Market
Between Auto Show and Showroom, a Supercar’s Mettle Is Tested
G.M. Plans a Software Patch to Address Stalling Chevrolet Volts
Questions Linger on Battery Prices in Electric Cars
Prospects for R8 E-tron Darken, as Audi Shifts Focus to Plug-in Hybrids
Hybrids and Electric Vehicles Do Well in Reliability Survey
A Hybrid Done Right, but Not Without Glitches
A Winning Ticket of Style and Handling
Price Is Major Factor for Electric Vehicles, Study Says
Inventor Says New Wireless E.V. Charger Is Safer and Cheaper
Fisker Automotive Lays Off Majority of Employees
Fisker Automotive, the maker of a $100,000-and-up plug-in hybrid luxury sedan, said on Friday that about three-quarters of its workers had been let go to “allow the company to work through its current financial challenges.”

The statement was issued on behalf of Fisker by Sitrick & Company, a Los Angeles public relations firm that Fisker, a start-up automaker, retained late last week.

A former Fisker employee familiar with the cutbacks, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of ties to the company, said about 150 employees had been fired while about 50 senior managers and executives had been retained. Fisker, which is based in Anaheim, Calif., declined to specify the exact number of affected employees.

According to the company statement, Fisker executives met in Southern California on Thursday with a group of employees who were asked to stay on to “address the challenges before us.”

The exact size and makeup of the work force will probably not be known until the individual employees who were asked to stay either agree to the offer or decline it. But it is clear that the remaining managers face grim circumstances, not the least of which is an April 22 deadline to repay a portion of a $193 million low-interest loan from the United States Department of Energy. Although Fisker was granted a $528.7 million loan in late 2009, that money was frozen after Fisker fell short of its production targets.

The company and the Energy Department have declined to disclose the exact amount due on April 22, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

Although Fisker successfully brought its stylish Karma sedan to market in late 2011, the company has had a spate of problems in recent months, including a recall of more than 2,000 cars to replace a cooling fan. Last October, 320 Karmas, awaiting delivery to customers, were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy at Port Newark in New Jersey, resulting in a $32 million loss for the automaker.

“Once Sandy hit, it seemed like that was it,” said John Gartner, research director for the Smart Transportation practice of Pike Research. “There has been no positive news from the company since that time, except for rumored discussions with potential new investors.”

The loss from Hurricane Sandy represented a significant amount of lost revenue for a start-up, Mr. Gartner said. “Forming a new automotive company is an extremely risky proposition, with little room for failure,” he said. “When you have an event like that, it’s not surprising they’re in the position they are in right now.”

The company has had further problems since the storm. It suspended Karma production in November 2012, one month after its battery supplier, A123 Systems, declared bankruptcy. Fisker, which has not produced a vehicle since that time, has sold about 1,800 units.

While Fisker planned to build a second vehicle, the Atlantic, at a former General Motors plant in Delaware, the Karma was assembled in Finland by a contract manufacturer.

In its Friday statement, Fisker said, “Our efforts to secure a strategic alliance or partnership are continuing in earnest.” This comment refers to efforts since production was halted to sell the company or find a partner to resurrect it. Fisker refused to provide specific information about suitors, but industry analysts and press reports speculated that Chinese auto companies, hoping to obtain electric vehicle technology, might buy Fisker.

On Feb. 18, the Reuters news agency reported that the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group of China had made a bid of $200 million to $300 million to acquire a majority stake. Geely is the owner of Volvo, the Swedish automaker, which it acquired in 2010 for $1.8 billion. But talks with Geely and other suitors ended without a deal. Fisker’s value is largely ascribed to the design of its sleek Karma vehicle, rather than any proprietary technology that could be leveraged by Chinese companies.

On March 13, Henrik Fisker, the company’s co-founder, executive chairman and namesake, left the company because of disagreements with management. Mr. Fisker, a celebrated automotive designer who left his stamp on Aston Martins and BMWs, unveiled the Karma as a concept car in 2008 at the Detroit auto show. After repeated delays, Fisker Automotive made its first sale of the Karma in October 2011.

Since August, Fisker’s chief executive has been Tony Posawatz, a former G.M. executive who led the engineering team that developed the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unidentified sources, reported on March 28 that Fisker had hired the law firm Kirkland & Ellis to prepare for a possible bankruptcy filing.

According to Automotive News, a trade publication, employees were seen leaving Fisker headquarters at about 8:30 Friday morning, some carrying boxes and many with large white envelopes. According to the account, former Fisker employees said they had been given no severance pay other than compensation for unused vacation days.

“The big question now is what is left to sell?” Mr. Gartner said. “It’s likely they’re now trying to sell any physical assets available to get some return for their investors.”
Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid: Innovation but No Beauty
New Problem for Boeing 787 Battery Maker
Wheelies: The Global Domination Edition
Fisker Automotive Lays Off Majority of Employees
Hybrid Drivers Wanted
Renault Shows Edgy Concept at Milan Furniture Fair
Gentle Treatment Yields Fuel Economy Rewards With Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Russia Skips Hybrids in Push for Cars Using Natural Gas
Wheelies: The Fantasy Electric Truck Edition
G.M. Enters the 3-Cylinder Engine Arms Race
The New Chevy Spark Will Offer A.C. or D.C. Charging
Wheelies: The Chrysler Cacciatore Edition
How Do You Find the Best Green Cars?
How to Charge Millions of Electric Cars? Not All at Once
Venture Threatens to Backfire in Virginia Governor’s Race
In Two-Way Charging, Electric Cars Begin to Earn Money From the Grid
Electric Cars Rally on Connecticut’s Back Roads
Electric Car Maker Files for Bankruptcy Protection
Epic EV Torq: Three Wheels plus One Electric Motor equally Interesting
In a Plus for Electrics, Tesla Repays a Big Federal Loan Early
Wheelies: The Inexpensive E.V.’s Edition
Porsche’s Entry in the Science Fair
Israeli Venture Meant to Serve Electric Cars Is Ending Its Run
Wheelies: The Happy German Worker Edition
Tips for Buying and Servicing a Used Hybrid Car
Behold the Latest in Trash Trucks and Police Three-Wheelers
Fallout From Failure of Battery Swap Plan
Holding Its Own vs. Nonhybrids
As BMW Is Put to the Test, Its Plans Are Years Ahead
More Than a Skateboard, Less Than a Car
Buzzing Around Paris in Borrowed Electric Cars
Fisker Hires G.M.’s Former Head of Marketing
Make Way for Kilowatts: A Growing-Up Year for Plug-Ins
Car Buyers Lack Interest in Electric Cars, Study Says
Ford Fusion Energi MPGe Hits Triple Digits, E.P.A. Says
Grid Problems Curb India’s Electric-Vehicle Appetite
Will 2013 Be the Year of the Electric Car?
Honda to Assemble 2014 Accord Hybrid in Ohio
The Fisker Karma With a V-8, Courtesy of Bob Lutz
Europe’s Big Bet on EVs and Hybrids
Could Electric Vehicles Fly Out of Showrooms?
New York to Washington on About One Gallon of Gas
Any Engine You Like, but Only if It’s a Hybrid
Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway
Doubting if Tomorrow Will Ever Come for Taxi
Compressing Gas for a Cheaper, Simpler Hybrid
India’s Only Electric Car Revamped to Woo Drivers
Companies Collaborate on E.V. Charging for All
Obama Seeks to Use Oil and Gas Money to Develop Alternative Fuel Cars
Audi Escapes the Hatch With the A3
At Mercedes, B Is for Battery
Infiniti QX60 Hybrid Pairs Style and Economy
Visit Statistics