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Fisker lays off 75 percent of staff at Anaheim headquarters

April 5, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Stunned workers carried out boxes of their belongings from Fisker's Anaheim headquarters Friday after learning 75 percent of the staff was being laid off.

One employee told ABC News there had been no advance notice of the layoffs and that they were told they would not receive severance.

"It's going to have a big impact because they don't really have a lot of employees left and they're pretty much out of options if they don't find funding at this point. It looks pretty dire," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' senior analyst.

Fisker stopped making its $100,000 Karma plug-in hybrid last summer after its battery maker filed for bankruptcy. The company entered the electric car market with major support and backing from the Obama administration and celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber, who received a Fisker Karma for his 18th birthday while on the Ellen DeGeneres show.

Friday's layoff announcement comes as the premium green car company faces a looming repayment on a multi-million dollar loan from the U.S. Department of Energy. The embattled automaker ran into a major cash crunch after the federal government froze the loan because Fisker had stopped meeting its milestones.

Company founder Henrik Fisker resigned in March, and since then things have only gotten worse. Analysts say Friday's move may signal the end.

"It seems like theres not a lot of options unless they get an investor really soon, I mean within the next week or so, it doesn't seem likely they are going to be able to continue to produce cars," said Caldwell.

If the luxury carmaker goes bust, it will be the most high profile failure of an alternative energy firm backed by the Obama administration since the solar company Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in 2011.


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