The Story Behind Fisker in China

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Reuters top China automotive journalist, Norihiko Shirouzu, brings the background story on Fisker’s mercy trip to China where he was tasked with finding a suitor – the only issue being is that Fisker favored another partner over Geely’s deep pockets.

Read the rest at Reuters.

n late January, consultant Joel Ewanick arrived at Geely’s headquarters in eastern China to deliver an impassioned pitch on behalf of Fisker Automotive, the California-based boutique green-car maker that was running out of cash and sliding toward bankruptcy.

Ewanick, a former General Motors Co and Hyundai marketing executive, walked Geely Chairman Li Shufu through the pros and cons of taking a majority stake in Fisker. He suggested Geely could take control for as little as $250 million, about an eighth of Fisker’s self-estimated value in late 2011.

“Chairman Li’s eyes got big, and it was as if, ‘that’s all!?’” according to one of the people who attended the meeting.

The deal ultimately fell apart for many reasons, including hard-to-meet terms of Fisker’s U.S. government loan. But the outcome was also the result of missteps by Fisker’s top managers, including openly appearing to favor a rival Chinese automaker early on, according to eight individuals with direct knowledge of the effort over the past year.

By betting on the wrong company as its potential white knight, Fisker may have bungled an opportunity to raise hundreds of millions of dollars. Fisker’s board sent out at least two search teams, but proceeded without a clear roadmap or coordination between the teams, those knowledgeable individuals told Reuters.

The events show how Fisker’s last-ditch bid for survival has been just as messy as the mismanagement that led the company to burn through more than $1.4 billion in public and private funds in less than six years.

About the author  ⁄ Ash

China Car Times is the number one portal for the latest information, statistics, and industry information on the Chinese automotive industry. Over the past six years of operation we have seen the Chinese auto market grow from a backwater of old European models to the world's largest auto market with the world's leading technology being delivered here first. You can connect with China Car Times founder and Editor Ash Sutcliffe by clicking on the Linkedin logo, you can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus via the relevant icons

3 Comments

  • Scott
    June 18, 2013

    The writing is on the wall. Both the Detroit CEO’s- Tom Lasorda and Tony Posawatz ruined what once was a dream. Lets hope Henrik Fisker can save the company and bring beautiful, amazing cars to this world. What a mess Tony Posawatz made of Fisker Automotive!

  • Fisker
    June 20, 2013

    Henrick Fisker and Bernhard Koehler are two of the most honest and caring people you have ever met. Both dreamed of having a US automotive company that would change the world and they have done it.. Many bloggers and media report that the company raised and spent 1.4 billion dollars as if it went into their pockets…wrong! Every penny went to pay for design, technology, new vehicle lines, manuf. Karma, parts, payroll etc… Trust me, the big three and every other car company out there has spent way more than 1.4 billion from start to finish on a single vehicle..
    The comment above was spot on… Tom Lasorda and Tony had only one motive for the Fisker and that was failure so they could profit… Tony for instance has been in constant communication with Bob Lutz for one reason.. to bankrupt and then purchase Fisker for less than 10 million and then Tony has a job forever…

    If Fisker did not have the issue’s they had with A123, now B456 things would be way different.. Fisker would be exactly where Tesla is right now…and Henrick and Barny would be rock star’s..

    Well, its not over.. Both of these guys are out there arranging new partnerships and working their ass off to get it done.. Why would they still want to do this after all the bad press and anti-Fisker people out there, its not like the need the money… Because they are both extremely committed to what they started and will do anything to see their dream come to life.. I know first hand, who these guys are and how passionate and honest they really are about the company and the employees who dedicated their whole life to Fisker… It was the hardest thing for Henrick to step down from his company but he had to do it for both the company and the employees.. Otherwise, Fisker would have been sold for pennies on the dollar or went bankrupt..

  • Les
    June 20, 2013

    I have known Henrik and Barney from the designworks days and have the utmost respect for their integrity and professionalism. They desreve to finally succedd

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