Fisker lays off 15% of workers, says it wants additional cash forward of ‘powerful yr’


Electrical car startup Fisker plans to put off 15% of its workforce and mentioned it in all probability does not have sufficient money to outlive the following 12 months. The corporate says it is looking for a option to increase that cash whereas transferring from direct gross sales to a dealership mannequin.

“[W]We’ve got a plan in place to streamline the enterprise as we put together for an additional difficult yr,” founder and CEO Henrik Fisker mentioned in a press release. Fisker had greater than 1,300 workers on the finish of September 2023, which means the discount might have an effect on almost 200 individuals. The corporate’s inventory worth plunged 35% after hours.

Fisker mentioned Thursday it ended 2023 with $396 million in money, though $70 million is restricted. The corporate says it’s discussing the potential for making “an extra funding” within the enterprise with certainly one of its lenders. It additionally claims it’s “in negotiations with a significant automaker for a possible transaction that would embrace an funding in Fisker, joint improvement of a number of electrical car platforms, and manufacturing in North America.”

Such a partnership shall be essential, as Fisker executives mentioned on a name Thursday that they might not make investments any extra money of their future merchandise until they work with one other automaker. Which means the destiny of a pickup truck, compact electrical car and different fashions teased by Fisker is now in query.

The corporate’s monetary woes come because it makes an attempt to transition to a wholesale mannequin constructed round partnerships with sellers, a shift that Fisker says has up to now “had a damaging influence” on its gross sales. It presently depends on a list of 1000’s of autos which are collectively value greater than $500 million. Fisker says it has obtained curiosity from about 250 sellers, however has solely signed 13 thus far.

Fisker has additionally confronted plenty of points with its Ocean SUV, its solely mannequin up to now, as TechCrunch reported earlier this month. The corporate mentioned it mounted some with a software program replace in December and plans to repair many extra in a bigger 2.0 replace earlier this month, however that does not It solely began arriving on buyer autos this week. The Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration is presently investigating experiences of sudden brake failure, in addition to a handful of auto rolling incidents.

Numerous main automakers are backing off their aggressive electrical car targets, and new gamers are additionally struggling. Rivian lately announcement it has minimize 10% of its workforce and plans to make about the identical variety of electrical autos this yr as in 2023. Lucid Motors plans to construct about 9,000 autos this yr after as soon as predicted it might construct 90,000 at this level.

Fisker has all the time differentiated itself from different electrical car startups as a result of it pursues an “asset-light” enterprise mannequin. It designed the Ocean however subcontracted manufacturing to Magna Steyr in Austria. The transfer helped it get vehicles on the highway sooner than another startups, even because it jeopardized the corporate in different methods. For instance, its Ocean SUV shouldn’t be eligible for the federal point-of-sale electrical car tax credit score as a result of the car shouldn’t be manufactured in North America.

In the end, Fisker mentioned Thursday it offered slightly below 5,000 Ocean SUVs in 2023 and generated $273 million in income, after starting shipments in earnest in June. It misplaced slightly below $761 million for the complete yr. Magna has produced simply over 10,000 Oceans, and Fisker mentioned it hopes to start transport them to its new seller companions to generate near-term money movement. The corporate declined to say what number of autos its preliminary companions have ordered or plan to order throughout the convention name.

Like many different electrical car startups that went public by merging with a particular function acquisition firm, Fisker skilled many rising pains as a public firm. It needed to delay the publication of its third quarter 2023 monetary outcomes, partly as a result of it discovered weaknesses in its inside monetary reporting. Round this time, two completely different accounting administrators additionally resigned.

These issues continued on Thursday, with Fisker saying it might be late in releasing its full monetary outcomes for 2023. It additionally revealed it had found one other materials weak point associated to its “income and related stability sheet accounts.” Consequently, he known as the monetary figures launched Thursday “preliminary,” going as far as so as to add an asterisk to the title of the press launch.


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