New CEO for Fisker
Fisker Automotive, the electric vehicle maker struggling to find its next round of funding, has shaken up its top executive ranks and appointed veteran industry leader Tom LaSorda as its CEO. LaSorda, 57, Chrysler’s former CEO, had been named vice chairman of the automaker late last year. Company co-founder and CEO Henrik Fisker will become executive chairman, the company said in a statement today. “I will be taking a new role…building the brand and creating brand awareness, styling and design and future vision of the company,” Fisker told journalists during a conference call. Although it has launched its $103,000 Karma extended-range hybrid vehicle, the company recently missed milestones to collect its next round of funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. Development of its lower-priced Project Nina has been placed on temporary hold. Still profitable However, LaSorda said that Fisker Automotive will be profitable in 2013 from Karma sales alone. Hopefully, that revelation will be enough to spur the next round of financing, either from the DOE or other sources, LaSorda said. LaSorda also hinted at the possibility of forming an alliance with another automaker. “If any auto company would call, we would be open to that,” LaSorda said. “But we are not out in the marketplace pushing that.” Fisker has built — through the Valmet Automotive assembly plant in Finland — about 2,000 Karmas. About 840 have been delivered to U.S. and Canadian dealers. European dealers started receiving Karmas last week. As for Project Nina, LaSorda said, “I really can’t say when production would start and what’s going on in Wilmington.” Late last year, Henrik Fisker said that prototype production at Wilmington would begin in the second half of 2012.