Fisker Becomes 2nd EV Maker to File for Bankruptcy in Past Year

The California-based startup said it is facing headwinds as the EV industry as a whole struggles to expand beyond early adopters.


Electric vehicle startup Fisker Group Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection -- the second such filing by an electric vehicle company in the past year, after Lordstown Motors Corp. filed in June 2023, as the industry struggles to expand beyond early adopters.

The Manhattan Beach, CA-based company, founded by Henrik Fisker, disclosed in a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware that it has estimated assets between $500 million and $1 billion, with liabilities ranging from $100 million to $500 million. The filing indicates that Fisker has between 200 and 999 creditors.

"Like other companies in the electric vehicle industry, we have faced various market and macroeconomic headwinds that have impacted our ability to operate efficiently," Fisker said in a statement. "After evaluating all options for our business, we determined that proceeding with a sale of our assets under Chapter 11 is the most viable path forward for the company."

Founded seven years ago by Henrik Fisker, who also serves as chairman and CEO, the company developed the 2022 Ocean all-electric SUV and the luxury plug-in hybrid Karma, launched in 2011. Henrik Fisker is also known for his work on the BMW Z8 sports car. This marks his second failed automotive venture, following the bankruptcy of Fisker Automotive Inc. in 2013.

Fisker and other EV startups, like Lordstown, aimed to challenge industry giants such as Tesla and Detroit's big automakers, who have aggressively entered the EV market. However, a slowdown in EV sales has hampered these efforts. J.D. Power reported EV sales grew only 3.3% to nearly 270,000 units in the first quarter of this year, a significant drop from the 47% growth seen last year. This slowdown has led to a reduced market share of 7.15% for EVs in the U.S. and forced major companies like Tesla to implement price cuts and job reductions.

Another EV startup, Rivian, paused construction of its $5 billion manufacturing plant in Georgia earlier this year to expedite production and save costs.

Henrik Fisker's initial attempt to launch an electric car company ended in bankruptcy in 2013. Fisker Automotive Inc. had received a $529 million loan commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy, but the company failed to meet production targets, leading to the suspension of the loan in 2011.

Earlier this year, Fisker Inc. received a warning from the New York Stock Exchange after its stock price fell below $1. Although the company's shares were not immediately delisted, Fisker announced plans to comply with NYSE's listing standards.

The current bankruptcy filing does not include Fisker Inc. or its U.S. subsidiaries, nor its subsidiaries outside the U.S. Fisker is reportedly in advanced talks with financial stakeholders regarding debtor-in-possession financing and selling its assets.

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