Fisker’s status as a car company might not be dwindling–it’s building Karmas, selling them, and making money–but we hear that Fisker’s next venture, the Atlantic EREV sedan, depends on an infusion of cash that hasn’t yet materialized.
Reuters reports that while Fisker has already raised at least $1 billion privately since 2010, the development costs of the new Atlantic sedan–as well as the continued production costs for the Karma sedan–are proving to be steep. Couple that to the fact that the California-based automaker was denied some $264.5 million in government loans early this year, on the heels of the Solyndra meltdown.
Now, the price tag for the planned Fisker Atlantic is some $150 million–that is, Fisker is looking to raise that sum of money before it can launch production of its second model and put it on sale. Unlike Tesla, which raised a significant sum of money through an initial public offering, Fisker isn’t looking at an IPO infusion. Fisker director Ray Lane told Reuters that such an option, or a sale to a private buyer or consortium, would have to happen once the company is in the black–something that may not happen until late next year.
That is, if it happens at all: the Fisker Karma has drawn critical acclaim for its curb appeal (including our Design of the Year award) but has been plagued with quality issues as well as two separate car fires. The second fire happened last week; in the following days, Fisker engineers ruled out the battery pack, electric motors, or the gasoline range extender’s exhaust as sources. The company hasn’t yet released public sales figures for the Karma, and a Fisker spokesman was not available to confirm sales numbers or the company’s financial situation by deadline.
It’s not all car fires, either—earlier this week, Tony Posawatz became the third Fisker Automotive CEO in just one year. Before joining the ranks at Fisker, Posawatz was the former product line director for a vastly more popular extended-range electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt.