Report: Fisker Automotive Employees Furloughed

It hasn't been a good month for Fisker Automotive: just weeks after Henrik Fisker left the company that bears his name, we hear that Fisker Automotive's American employees have been furloughed all week.

Automotive News reports that the furlough for Fisker's 200 stateside employees started last Friday, March 22nd, and extends to the end of today. Tomorrow is Good Friday (and a paid day off for Fisker employees), and the 200 workers will return to their desks on Monday April 1.

A statement by Fisker Automotive called the move "a common practice" and said it "isn't expected to materially impair Fisker's operations." That's a positive statement, but it doesn't change the fact that Fisker reportedly hasn't built any new Karmas since last summer, and has an impending loan payment due to the Department of Energy. The amount of that loan payment is as yet undisclosed, but the number is likely very high -- high enough, in fact, to have halted talks between Fisker and Chinese firm Geely, which was reportedly looking at buying Fisker.

While Fisker is looking to build new products, most notably the Atlantic plug-in hybrid sedan, money is still tight; nobody knows if the Atlantic, which was slated to be made in Delaware, will ever make it to market. The Karma's well-publicized quality issues have already sunk one company: Massachusetts-based A123 Systems went under shortly after a massive battery recall in early 2012. The company was subsequently bought out by Chinese auto parts firm Wanxiang Group and now operates as Wanxiang America.

Only time will tell how this company will do -- in the meantime, the search for funding, domestic production, and perhaps even a new figurehead will continue Monday morning.

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