Orange County Business Journal

Fisker Names LaSorda CEO

Jane Yu Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tom LaSorda has been named chief executive of Anaheim-based luxury hybrid automaker Fisker Automotive Inc.

Fisker brought LaSorda on its board in December as vice chairman. He has served as an advisor to Fisker co-founder Henrik Fisker, who will give up the chief executive’s duties and become executive chairman.

LaSorda is an auto industry veteran who served as chief executive of Auburn Hill, Mich.-based Chrysler Group LLC from 2005 to 2007. He also spent 23 years at General Motors Co.

Fisker executives said in a conference call announcing LaSorda’s appointment that the company is looking for alternative funding sources in place of a portion of a loan from the U.S. Department of Energy that’s been held up in recent weeks.

The carmaker has received $193 million of a $529 million loan from the federal agency, which recently said it will review terms of the deal before providing the rest of the funding.

The freeze on the federal loan came after the automaker brought its $100,000 luxury sedan, the Karma, to market a few months later than anticipated.

The move by the Department of Energy led Fisker to delay plans for producing a second model, initially dubbed the Nina, at its plant in Wilmington, Del. The Karma currently is assembled by Valmet Automotive in Finland.

Fisker executives said the company will pursue additional financing from private investors, and is prepared to continue in business with the Karma as its only model for the foreseeable future. The company said deliveries of Karmas to dealers and distributors is steady, and it expects to be profitable next year.