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Summary:

According to sources electric car startup Fisker Automotive is laying off most of its staff and is announcing that to employees today.

Ray Lane's Fisker Karma

According to several sources, electric car maker Fisker Automotive is planning to lay off many of its employees today. Sources tell me that there is a company meeting at 8AM today where the company will announce this to the employees.

Updated at 8:30AM: I’ve heard that 160 Fisker employees were let go this morning, and 53 employees will stay on to manage further negotiations with the Department of Energy and a potential sale of assets.

I’ve also heard that law firm Outten & Golden has been looking into initiating a class action law suit to represent Fisker’s employees should Fisker fall into bankruptcy. The firm is looking into whether Fisker (like Solyndra) will or already has violated the WARN act.

The news follows reports that Fisker has hired a law firm to advise it on bankruptcy options. It owes a loan repayment to the Department of Energy this month, and has been cutting costs and furloughed its employees last month. The company hasn’t made a car since the summer of 2012.

FISKER NINA-1351

Earlier this year Fisker was trying to make deals with Chinese auto makers for an acquisition or a partnership, but those seem to have fallen through. Fisker also announced last month that its celeb designer founder Henrik Fisker had resigned over internal disagreements.

Fisker was founded in 2007 and has raised over a billion dollars from venture capitalists like Kleiner Perkins, NEA and others, as well as wealthy individuals organized by now defunct broke Advanced Equities. Fisker also received part of a loan from the Department of Energy.

The company built a high-end electric hybrid sports car called the Karma, and shipped thousands of these to customers. But the company faced problems with recalls, software glitches, a battery supplier that went bankrupt and lost hundreds of Karmas in superstorm Sandy.

For some more background, read my previous post: Tesla, Fisker, and what could have been: A tale of two electric car startups

We’ll update this story today as we hear more.

Updated at 8:25 AM, April 5, with the number of employees I heard were let go.

  1. Looking forward to collecting on my bets ($100 ea) I have with Tony Posawatz that all of the following would happen before end of 2013:
    1) More Fisker vehicle recalls.
    2) Fisker would file Bankruptcy.
    3) Tony would no longer be president.

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