As Delaware auto workers and state leaders wait for Fisker, the company’s founder resigns

He founded and lent his name to the company, but now, Henrik Fisker has walked away.

While it’s not clear what the departure means for the company’s future here in Delaware, there was an apparent struggle among company leaders that led Fisker to leave.  According to Automotive News, Fisker company officials say, “The main reasons for his resignation are several major disagreements that Henrik Fisker has with the Fisker Automotive executive management on the business strategy.”  

The company has released an official statement, thanking Fisker for his contributions to the company.  It goes on to say, “Mr. Fisker’s departure is not expected to impact the company’s pursuit of strategic partnerships and financing to support  Fisker Automotive’s continued progress as a pioneer of low-emission hybrid electric powertrain technology.”  The statement also says, “The company has a strong and experienced management team and its strategy has not changed.”

Fisker had been in the process of trying to form a strategic partnership or alliance in an effort to move forward after a Department of Energy loan to the company was frozen.  Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher told WHYY in February, “Once we have a strategic partnership or alliance in place then we can re-start work on the Atlantic and hopefully continue with our preparation with Delaware.”

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Ormisher seemed optimistic that a deal was near.  He said more than a month ago, “We are in those talks at the moment and hope to make an announcement ASAP.”  

In 2009, Henrik Fisker came to Delaware to announce the company’s plans to build one of their models at the former GM plant on Boxwood Road in Newport.  That announcement was made with great fanfare and Vice President Joe Biden was even on hand to celebrate what was to be hundreds of jobs returning to the shuttered auto plant.  

Fisker’s original plan called for 75,000 to 100,000 vehicles to be produced in Delaware every year, creating 2,500 jobs.  The first Fiskers produced in Delaware were supposed to hit the showroom floor this year.  So far, not a single car has been made at the plant, and Fisker employees in Delaware are just a tiny fraction of that now overly-optimistic number of potential workers.

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