Henrik Fisker is back.
Actually, he never left the building after the collapse of his auto company that planned to build a mid-priced hybrid electric-gas vehicle at the former GM Boxwood plant near Newport.
It was a painful experience for Delaware, which kicked in part of the financial package for Fisker. The feds pulled the plug on the company after halting disbursements from a loan program aimed at boosting electric and hybrid vehicles.
Fisker was bedeviled by a run of bad luck coupled with a host of problems that come when you launch an auto company from scratch.
Of late, longtime rival Elon Musk, who enjoyed early success with Tesla, is now struggling with mass production of the 3, aspeedy all-electric sedan that aims to take on the lower-priced offerings of BMW and Mercedes Benz.
Fisker ’s lone vehicle, the Karma, was built in Finland. A Chinese auto supplier bought the remains of Fisker out of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington and is now turning out a few re-engineered Karmas in southern California.
Meanwhile, the Boxwood plant is slated for demolition after an effort by its new owners to seek manufacturing uses.
Fisker, a never say die entrepreneurand talented auto stylist shifted gears and went to work on an all-electric vehicle that is claiminga breakthrough in battery technology.
It’s vintage Fisker. As anyone who has seen his presentations knows, Henrik is a pretty good salesman.
But Fisker is hedging his bets this time around. The native of Denmark recently joined forces with a European collaboration that includes a consulting firm and an Austrian venture capital group. He is also proposing a driverless vehicle that could shuttle people around officecampuses and other sites.
A release on the agreement notesthat Fisker will work in investment opportunities with upcoming vehicle lineups as well as the previously mentioned Fisker Solid-State Battery program.
Geza Brugger, co-managing director at alliance member motec ventures had high praise for their the new partner. “Henrik Fisker is, from my perspective, the Steve Jobs of the automotive world: a strong visionary and full-blooded entrepreneur with experience from both successful projects, as well as those that brought challenges and lessons learned.”
European auto companies are “all in” on electric vehicles. Unlike the U.S. government, national capitals on the continent are still pushing for electric vehicles.
If Fisker somehow ends up with a breakthrough battery technology or has success the second time around with a new car, Europeans don’t want to be left out.
Enjoy your weekend. This newsletter returns on Monday. – Doug Rainey, publisher.