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Fisker battles bankruptcy

Californian electric car specialist cuts pricing in an attempt to remain afloat in a challenging market

Dan Trent

Words by: Dan Trent

Published on 11 April 2024 | 0 min read

Combining Californian tech savvy and surf cool we liked the all-electric Fisker Ocean when we drove it recently and had high hopes for the brand’s ambitious new range of cars. Keen pricing, loads of range and some neat but practical design flourishes all looked good, the combination of blue sky American optimism and outsourced European build quality adding to the positive vibes.
Sadly, it looks like the currently challenging market for electric cars in the US has hit Fisker where it hurts financially, and while bigger players like Tesla have the resources to weather the storm these new brands are struggling to stay afloat.
After announcing an ambitious new range of cars last year rumblings all may not be well at Fisker came with the announcement of its financial results. In a statement founder Henrik Fisker admitted, “2023 was a challenging year for Fisker, including delays with suppliers and other issues that prevented us from delivering the Ocean SUV as quickly as had expected.” He cited issues with setting up an effective direct sales operation in the US and Europe, interest rates, labour shortages and other problems meaning a switch to Dealer Partner programme instead.
While there was some optimism this would help kickstart sales an admission there was “substantial doubt about Fisker’s ability to continue as a going concern” underlined the seriousness of the situation, Henrik Fisker confirming the business was in discussions with “a large automaker” concerning a potential buy-out. Fisker has been here before of course, his previous brand Fisker Automotive going out of business in 2014 after the promising looking Karma hybrid failed to take off as he’d hoped.
Whether the reborn Fisker brand can prevail remains an open question, a dramatic slashing of prices for existing models announced at the end of last month described as a ‘fire sale’ by some pundits. With nearly 40 per cent taken off the price of a top-spec Ocean, and similar reductions across the range, Fisker hopes to shift some of its stock and offset its losses, even if that comes at the expense of owners who’d just signed for cars at the previous prices.
Amid these signs of apparent desperation Fisker maintains talks are ongoing with a mainstream brand that would secure the future of its model range but, at the time of writing, this is still up in the air.