Batterymaker bankruptcy forces Fisker to pause production

Fisker CEO Tony Posawatz told the press this week that the company has been forced to shut down production of the Karma until it figures out where its next batteries are coming from.

 

Fisker CEO Tony Posawatz told the press at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show that the company has been forced to shut down production of the Karma until it figures out where its next batteries are coming from. A123 Systems, Fisker’s sole battery supplier, filed for bankruptcy in October, and is scheduled to sell its assets, including the Michigan plant that makes the Karma batteries, at a December 6 auction. Johnson Controls and China’s Wanxiang Group are expected to be the main bidders.

“Because we have no batteries, there’s no production right now.” Posawatz said. “We’d like to restart production as quickly as possible. We should know the outcome of the auction by the middle of December.” Simply switching to another supplier isn’t a realistic option, as it can take as much as a year to test a new battery. “I wish this was more of a ‘plug-and-play’ situation, but that’s not the case,” the CEO said.

Fisker expects to deliver about 2,000 Karmas, which are built under contract in Finland by Valmet Automotive, by the end of the year. “Inventory is starting to get a little low,” Posawatz said. The situation was surely not helped by Superstorm Sandy, which destroyed 300 Karmas awaiting delivery atPort Newark.

The company could use some good news right about now. It has already dealt with costly recalls involving some defective battery cells  and faulty fans. Posawatz, who took over as CEO in August, said that Fisker will be raising more private investment. “The fundraising process never really ends."

 

Source: Bloomberg via Green Car Reports