Co-founder leaves Fisker electric car co.
DETROIT (AP) — Fisker Automotive Inc., maker of the $100,000 Karma sports car, confirmed Wednesday that co-founder Henrik Fisker has left the company.
The company gave no reason for the resignation. But the trade publication Automotive News reported that Henrik Fisker told it in an emailed statement that he left after several major disagreements on business strategy. He didn't give further details.
The $100,000 Karma plug-in hybrid sports car is the only model Fisker currently sells. It's developing a lower-cost model — the Atlantic coupe — which would sell for around $55,000.
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy suspended a $529 million loan to Fisker after introduction of the Karma was delayed due to trouble with battery packs. Fisker got $193 million from the government before the payments were stopped in May of 2011.
In August, the Anaheim, Calif., company brought in former General Motors electric car chief Tony Posawatz as CEO. He has favored alliances or sale of the company. There are reports that some Chinese automakers are interested.
Fisker said in a statement that Henrik Fisker's departure won't affect its pursuit of "strategic partners" and additional financing. "The company has a strong and experienced management team and its strategy has not changed," the statement said.
Fisker's troubles show just how difficult and costly it is to start a car company and introduce a new technology. Gas-electric powertrains allow the cars to go 30 to 40 miles on battery power before a backup engine kicks in. The engine eliminates anxiety over running out of electricity.
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