• Vermeer avatar Vermeer Posted: 4/7/2013 1:03am PDT

    Pretty comprehensive writeup. Only thing missing is that prior to forming Fisker Automotive, Henrik Fisker was hired to do the design of the Tesla Model S. So he was able to see what Tesla had under the Kimono.

    Fisker's failure shows how much Tesla had to overcome to get where they are. To me, the decisive factor is the fact that Elon Musk was able to inject $100M of his own money to allow Tesla to survive. Henrik Fisker had to do it all with other people's money -- and he lost control as a result.

    Fascinating story...

  • fb_1414216609 avatar Mark Posted: 4/5/2013 12:36pm PDT

    Wouldn't Delorean count as a manufacturer, they did design build and sell their cars in the 80's for 2 years before they went under??

  • john_v avatar John Posted: 4/5/2013 1:52pm PDT

    @Mark: The more detailed description of what we were trying to indicate was "car companies founded from scratch in the U.S. by entrepreneurs whose brands survive today." Delorean, obviously, is no longer in business. Nor are Bricklin, Tucker, Kaiser, or the many other companies that didn't make it.

  • jeffhre avatar jeffhre Posted: 4/6/2013 10:04am PDT

    Chrysler didn't survive...Twice. And the general went bankrupt, though the new GM shares the name and many assets of the old GM. And perhaps instead of a government that does nothing to encourage entrepreneurs, one alternative would be to have conditions like 65% US cotent right out of the gate and production of thousands of ultra luxury cars during the aftermath of the Great Recession, the requirements could have been relaxed to allow investors confidence to put up more than the 1 billion dollars Fisker claimed to have. And ironically loosening the reliance on government backed loans by allowing investors to take on more of the company's funding needs.

  • john_v avatar John Posted: 5/3/2013 2:47pm PDT

    @Jeff: In the end, Fisker received several hundred million dollars of venture capital and private funding. The $192 million in DoE funds it drew down before the loan was frozen were a small part of the money it spent.

  • fordguy avatar fordguy Posted: 4/8/2013 12:11pm PDT

    Tesla should really buy out Fisker because obviously, Fisker is in serious trouble & Tesla is a much stronger company; plus, they make the same product, so it only makes sense for them to become one company. Am I right??

  • marty avatar Marty Posted: 4/8/2013 12:49pm PDT

    No, unfortunately, Joe. Fisker makes cars from completely different mechanicals with completely different driving characteristics. Tesla doesn't have the time or likely, the cash, to invest in a car company when it's seeking its own future investment. There's nothing really of worth for Tesla from Fisker--only the specter of lawsuits and debt.