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Fisker Automotive shake-up: Former Chevy Volt chief named new CEO ^ | 8/14/12 | Dana Hull

Posted on 08/15/2012 7:49:09 AM PDT by harpu

Struggling hybrid carmaker Fisker Automotive named Tony Posawatz, a General Motors veteran who oversaw production of the Chevy Volt, its new CEO on Tuesday, making him the third executive to helm the startup in a year.

Lead Fisker board director Ray Lane of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the auto company's largest investor, said Tuesday he has known Posawatz for a couple of years and recruited him to replace Tom LaSorda, who was named CEO in February. LaSorda, a veteran of Chrysler and GM, had replaced company founder Henrik Fisker.

Lane said Fisker originally envisioned Posawatz as chief operating officer, but the board ultimately decided to offer him the CEO job, and board members were thrilled when Posawatz accepted.

"It's a big coup," Lane said in an interview. "When Tony decided to retire from GM, everybody in the world called him, from the Department of Energy to other OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). We called him too."

Fisker, based in Anaheim, makes the $102,000 luxury plug-in hybrid Fisker Karma and is working on the Atlantic, a family sedan it hopes to launch in late 2014.

The latest executive shake-up comes amid growing competition from other all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles entering the market. Fisker has been plagued by production delays, software glitches and trouble getting its Delaware manufacturing plant up and running.

Posawatz, 52, is widely seen as an executive with the technical know-how to fix any remaining kinks in the Karma and successfully launch the Atlantic. LaSorda will leave the company but will remain an adviser.

"Tony is the perfect CEO for Fisker," said LaSorda in a statement. "He has been at the forefront of the industry's technological revolution and one of the few people in the world to bring an EV (electric vehicle) to mass production."

Fisker was awarded a $529 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, including $169 million for the Karma. But the largest portion of the loan was to support production of the Atlantic and bring a shuttered GM plant in Delaware back to life.

Fisker has drawn down about $193 million, or one-third, of its loan; the remaining $336 million is frozen due to delays in meeting sales and production targets. All Energy Department loan guarantees have strict guidelines in place to protect taxpayers, and companies are only able to draw down funds as they meet certain milestones. With the bulk of the DOE loan frozen, Fisker is actively trying to raise more than $300 million.

"The loan is still frozen," Lane said. "We have to replace what we haven't drawn from the DOE. We have to come up with that money. That's hard to do. But we're actively raising money."

A Fisker Karma was recently involved in an accident in Woodside, where the front left side of the vehicle caught on fire. No one was injured. Fisker announced that the source of the fire was not the battery pack, but the investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

"Our suspicion is it's the cooling fan," Lane said Tuesday. "We've not had a problem with the battery. A123 has produced a great battery. If you look at our launch issues, we've had fewer issues than most cars. But Fisker is in the press, and people love to write about us and that we're beleaguered. We have to fight that."

Fisker has sold more than 1,000 Fisker Karma's to date. Silicon Valley Karma owners include Lane and Pat Romano, CEO of electric vehicle charging station startup Coulomb Technologies. Former Vice President Al Gore also has one.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: automakers; fisker; generalmotors; volt
Third CEO in a year, trying to get those 'deck chairs' arranged properly.
1 posted on 08/15/2012 7:49:14 AM PDT by harpu
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To: harpu

He HAS shown he can build cars that burst into flames....

2 posted on 08/15/2012 7:53:59 AM PDT by illiac (If we don't change directions soon, we'll get where we're going)
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To: harpu

What would you rather have...? A Fisker or a Volt? I’d rather have hemorrhoids...

3 posted on 08/15/2012 7:59:24 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: illiac

4 posted on 08/15/2012 8:01:53 AM PDT by Palmetto Patriot (2010 All Over Again. Make it happen. Get Busy!)
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To: harpu

This guys knows how to save a failure with unlimited tax money.

5 posted on 08/15/2012 8:06:36 AM PDT by bmwcyle (Corollary - Electing the same person over and over and expecting a different outcome is insanity)
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To: bmwcyle
I'm sure the new CEO is working on where he can find a few thousand more Justin Biebers...err I mean suckers and quick. He will be in Hollywood by tomorrow with the pitch ‘For the sake of The One, we need to this anchor afloat until Nov. 7th”
6 posted on 08/15/2012 8:22:19 AM PDT by DAC21
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To: DAC21


“For the sake of The One, we need to KEEP this anchor afloat until Nov. 7th”

7 posted on 08/15/2012 8:24:32 AM PDT by DAC21
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To: harpu

So, let me see if I have this straight — a failing alternative vehicle company has hired the head of the biggest alternative vehicle failure in history to save their company........

Yeah, I see that working out for them.

8 posted on 08/15/2012 8:33:50 AM PDT by commish (Freedom tastes sweetest to those who have fought to preserve it.)
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To: commish

Losers hiring losers to produce more losers. Great strategy there.

9 posted on 08/15/2012 8:38:24 AM PDT by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: harpu

The first thing Fisker did with the loan money was pay $ 18 million for the GM Boxwood plant in northern Delaware.

So they bought an entire industrial site with taxpayer money from an entity owned by—wait for it—the taxpayers.

Then they decided to build the Karma not in DE as the whole reason for the loan was predicated upon, but in Finland.

So, our $ 193 million went to Finland to build 1,000 very stylish and expensive traveling firebombs.

They then said, well, we won’t ever build the Karma in DE, but we will build the Nina, a four door $ 46,000 electric car, in DE. This is a car that out-Volts the Volt, if that were even possible. And like anyone will pay over $ 46,000 for this car.

Then a few months ago, they threatened not to build any cars here in DE at all, becasue the Feds wouldn’t release anymore money from the loan guarantee to these losers.

Their batteries are built by A123, another DOE loan guarantee poster child. Wow, talk about synergy!

We are still waiting over three years later for ANYTHING to be built here.

Meanwhile the 1800 GM workers and the 1200 Chrysler workers who lost their good paying jobs in 2009 when their respective DE plants were closed by our own government, are still waiting for their promised jobs.

So now, Fisker is hiring a government loser for their loser company, funded by our money.

What could possibly go wrong?

Way to go Obama! Way to go Biden!

Talk about being chained,y’all—we are chained to Communist looters!

Vote them out in November!

10 posted on 08/15/2012 8:40:06 AM PDT by exit82 (Pass the word: Obama is a FAILURE!! Democrats are the enemies of freedom!)
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To: harpu

-——All Energy Department loan guarantees have strict guidelines in place to protect taxpayers,———

Unless the terms are changed after the loan is made and private stakeholders prevail in the bankruptcy hearings. That was the case for Soylendra where taxpayers got hosed.

There has been no word on how much of the money went to subvendors with sub vendors with subvendors with a subvendor corporation with bearer shares held by Barack Obama.

11 posted on 08/15/2012 8:49:57 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Present failure and impending death yield irrational action))
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To: harpu
"Tony is the perfect CEO for Fisker"

Only in a world where the purpose of a car company is not to make cars that people want to buy, but to extract subsidies from governments.

Thank goodness the computer industry doesn't work this way. Otherwise we'd have government-subsidized computers with little windmills on them to satisfy the green agenda.

12 posted on 08/15/2012 8:57:42 AM PDT by AZLiberty (No tag today.)
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To: harpu
I can hardly wait to see his encore to the Volt!

13 posted on 08/15/2012 8:59:41 AM PDT by Caipirabob (I say we take off and Newt the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure...)
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To: harpu

I can’t help but wonder how big the golden parachutes were for the last 2 CEOs. For that matter what are the saleries and perks for the top tier of execs at this boondoggle?

14 posted on 08/15/2012 9:04:48 AM PDT by fella ("As it was before Noah, so shall it be again.")
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To: exit82

97% of America will never hear that truth from the corrupt, criminal media-bots.

15 posted on 08/15/2012 9:19:23 AM PDT by carriage_hill (Harry Reid [PERVERT-NV] has Vickie-the-goat in lingerie & stiletto heels, tied-up in his office.)
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To: Palmetto Patriot

Nobody will confuse the auto Fisker Karma with the orange handled scissors of Fiskar. The scissor have not caught fire and burned down any houses... yet....

16 posted on 08/15/2012 10:55:30 AM PDT by DrDavid (George Orwell was an optimist.)
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To: DrDavid

-—— the orange handled scissors of Fiskar. ———

FYI...... orange handles are on right handed Fiskars.

Left handed Fiskars have red handles.

The handles are color coded to distinguish handing

17 posted on 08/15/2012 11:07:37 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Present failure and impending death yield irrational action))
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To: harpu
Let's see, Fisker cars spontaneously combust. Chevy Volt cars spontaneously combust. The GM CEO that presided over the Volt's fires is coming to fix the Fisker’s? This IS a joke, right? Nope.
18 posted on 08/15/2012 3:31:09 PM PDT by MasterGunner01 (11)
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