The Los Angeles Times reports automaker Fisker, the company that once promised to build a new electric car in Delaware, has laid off 160 people.
Bloomberg News reports that is 80 percent of the company’s employees. The Times report goes on to say employees are being called to a meeting on Friday where they will get information on accrued vacation time. There will not be any severance connected with the layoffs.
This move comes a month after company founder Henrik Fisker resigned, citing a disagreement with the direction of the company.
The news is another blow to what was a high mark for the Markell administration in October 2009 when it convinced Henrik Fisker to build a second version of his electric car at the GM plant on Boxwood Road. At the time of the announcement, the plant had been closed for about four months. The state extended a number of incentives to get the cars built in Delaware.
Markell’s Director of Communication, Cathy Rossi, released a statement: “We have been closely monitoring the company’s situation (and) are disheartened to learn that Fisker intends to lay off most of its remaining workforce. This does not bode well for a company that, at one point, had the potential to produce a cutting-edge clean technology vehicle in Delaware. But without a battery supplier and without access to hundreds of millions in capital from the U.S. Department of Energy, Fisker is in a difficult position. Our goal is to put autoworkers back on the job at Boxwood Road, and the state will continue to work with Fisker’s investors and remaining management to make the best of this situation.”
The battery supplier A123 systems of Michigan filed for bankruptcy and have stopped making its lithium-ion battery, which was to be used to power the Fisker Karma.
Just three weeks ago, Delaware’s Director for Economic Development Alan Levin told Newsworks, “We’ve obviously been patiently awaiting this for a number of years now. We’re hopeful, but each day that goes by, it becomes a little more difficult.”
It was one year ago this month that 12 people were let go from the Boxwood Road plant leaving only a small maintenance staff on the property.