Fisker Automotive has officially filed for bankruptcy on the back of the Californian car maker's sale to investment group Hybrid Technology.
After several attempts to rescue the company, Fisker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday afternoon, with Hybrid Tech Holdings stepping in to purchase its debts.
Although Fisker still owed some US$168 million ($183 million) to the Department of Energy, Hybrid Tech Holdings was able to come to an agreement with the US government, purchasing Fisker’s loan for just US$25 million ($27 million).
In 2010, the US Department of Energy awarded Fisker a US$529 million ($577 million) green-energy loan, as part of the Obama administration’s efforts to stimulate advanced vehicle development. Fisker collected more than US$190 million ($207 million) until February 2012, when the US government froze the loan because Fisker had failed to meet the performance targets set out for the company under the loan agreement.
A subsidiary of Hybrid Technology, Hybrid Tech Holdings LLC has also purchased Fisker’s assets for US$8 million ($8.7 million), saying the sale is the first step towards eventually restarting production of Fisker’s Karma plug-in hybrid.
Fisker’s chief restructuring officer, Marc Beilinson, released a statement on its bankruptcy and subsequent sale.
“After having evaluated and pursued all other alternatives, we believe the sale to Hybrid and the related Chapter 11 process is the best alternative for maximising Fisker Automotive’s value."
Fisker produced the rear-wheel-drive Karma from 2011 to 2012, rivalling the likes of the Mercedes CLS, Porsche Panamera, and Tesla Model S. The car paired a 193kW, 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with two 120kW/479Nm motors, and had a claimed electric range of 51km. A series of dramatic incidents involving Karmas catching fire damaged the car’s reputation, however, and more than 230 cars were recalled, most of which had only just reached dealerships.