Fisker runs out of cash, doesn’t make cars and files for bankruptcy

Enlarge / Automotive designer Henrik Fisker poses with a Fisker Ocean at the Salvation Army Southern California Division’s annual Sally Awards in June 2022.

Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Fisker, the second electric vehicle company founded by legendary BMW and Aston Martin designer Henrik Fisker, has filed for bankruptcy and intends to sell its assets and restructure its debt. The almost inevitable outcome comes months after it halted manufacturing amid cash flow shortages, safety investigations and devastating reviews of its only product, the Fisker Ocean SUV.

Fisker’s statement on the presentation notes that the company will produce the Ocean “twice as fast as expected in the automotive industry” and deliver “the most sustainable vehicle in the world.” However, a Fisker spokesperson writes: “[L]”Like other companies in the electric vehicle industry, we have faced several macroeconomic and market headwinds that have impacted our ability to operate efficiently.”

Rumors about Fisker’s bankruptcy have been circulating since March, when the company suspended production of its Ocean for initially six weeks and then indefinitely. A month earlier, the company reported $273 million in sales in 2023, but more than $1 billion in debt. Fisker shares were delisted from the New York Stock Exchange at the end of March. Amid what many saw as a widespread weakening of demand for electric vehicles, Fisker was particularly vulnerable.

The Fisker Ocean, on display at the 2022 Mobile World Congress.

The Fisker Ocean, on display at the 2022 Mobile World Congress.

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“Unfinished”, “Strange” and “The Worst”

This is largely due to problems with the ocean itself. Wired was unable to give the Ocean a review score in July 2023 after having to switch cars mid-test and believing there were too many features just in “coming soon” form. Fisker board member Wendy Greuel and Geeta Gupta-Fisker, Henrik Fisker’s wife, lost power in their delivered Oceans while driving, according to documents seen by TechCrunch. Consumer Reports described it as “one of the strangest cars we’ve ever encountered.”

Just what it says on the tin.

Technology critic and YouTube podcaster Marques Brownlee, who reviews cars on his Auto Focus channel, gets right to the point: “This is the worst car I’ve ever reviewed.” Brownlee’s video pointed out puzzling software issues, including excessively slow response from the center display, spotty warning lights, and key fob issues. Fisker did himself no favors with his reaction to the video review, which involved trying to locate Brownlee’s loaned Ocean and alternately punishing and cajoling the dealer who lent it to him.

Brownlee posted on

Fisker Auto’s second bankruptcy

Fisker is technically the second electric vehicle company founded by Henrik Fisker to stall. Fisker Automotive built the Fisker Karma, a plug-in hybrid (or “range extender”) sports GT, which broke down on Consumer Report’s test track before it could be tested and had a fire hazard recall. Fisker Automotive spent $1.4 billion making about 2,500 cars before filing for Chapter 11 in 2013. This latest version of Fisker reported 6,400 vehicle deliveries as of mid-April.

Fisker is looking to sell its assets, valued between $500 million and $1 billion, with liabilities between $100 million and $500 million, according to its filing. The company, formed through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), hired Canadian firm Magna to manufacture its cars. Adobe and Google are among its largest creditors.

Fisker said in its filing that in limited operations, it would work to “preserve certain customer programs.” No details on parts, warranty or software updates were included. Ars has reached out to Fisker to ask about these items and will update the post with a response.

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