Orange County Business Journal

Fisker Calls Weeklong Furlough

Jane Yu Thursday, March 28, 2013

Anaheim-based luxury hybrid automaker Fisker Automotive Inc. has instituted a weeklong furlough of its U.S. employees to save money.

The move affects about 200 employees, according to the company.

Cash-strapped Fisker had more than 400 employees in Orange County as recently as a year ago. The carmaker does not disclose its total workforce, but is believed to have cut about half of its workers over the past year. The company's notice of the furloughs indicates that most of its remaining employees are in Orange County.

Production of Fisker’s $100,000 Karma was halted last year, after the carmaker’s battery supplier, A123 Systems Inc., filed for bankruptcy. Fisker has hired Los Angeles-based investment bank Evercore Partners Inc. to help search for a potential investor, and also has tapped Chicago-based Huron Consulting Group Inc. to oversee its day-to-day operations.

Production on Fisker’s second model, the Atlantic, also has been put on hold, following the suspension of $335 million of a $529 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The company has struggled for the past two years, missing initial production milestones for the Karma, and falling short of sales goals once it reached the market. It’s also seen top executives come and go, with Chevy veteran Tony Posawatz now chief executive.

Cofounder Henrik Fisker stepped down from the chief executive’s post last year, and earlier this month resigned as executive chairman.