Co-Founder Henrik Fisker Leaves Fisker Automotive

Co-Founder Henrik Fisker Leaves Fisker Automotive

Nicu.Mihalache | March 13, 2013

Must be bad Karma :))

Benz | March 13, 2013

The ship must be sinking. The situation must have become more and more difficult. The odds were already there actually.

BYT | March 13, 2013

This makes me wonder, it's hardly ever good when the founder leaves, but what would happen if Elon left Tesla Motors... I know, god forbid, but look at it realistically. It may not happen next year or maybe not even within the next 5 years, but with his time split between SpaceX and Tesla Motors, he may feel one day the Tesla Motors is in good hands and wants to focus on SpaceX. Especially considering he lives and his family in in SoCal where SpaceX also is. Just thinking out loud, don't throw tomatoes at me please... :)

GeekEV | March 13, 2013

Is there anyone who didn't see this coming?

GeekEV | March 13, 2013

I think we can look to Apple as an example here. Elon seems to be to Tesla and SpaceX what Steve was to Apple. Losing Steve was a big deal as he seemed to be the dominant force in the business and was certainly the face of the business. So far the company seems to be doing OK (stock price swings not withstanding), but we need more time to be sure.

Jamon | March 13, 2013

I just read a review of Elon's interview at South By Southwest from March 9. When asked about his Hyperloop project ("faster than a plane, immune to weather, incapable of crashing"), he said that Tesla shareholders wouldn't take kindly to seeing him switch gears until his car company had at least two quarters of profitability on the books. Sadly, that day is not too far away!!

ChristianG | March 13, 2013

Well it did already happen with Martin Eberhardt leaving Tesla under not so clear circumstances. He also was a charismatic and devoted guy. Also back then Elon was not that involved into Tesla other than believing in them and giving Money. All news about Tesla involved Martin and some other guys I don't remember (sorry ;))

vgrinshpun | March 13, 2013

I believe that Elon Musk will not be interested in overseeing Tesla expand by building or buying and equipping new manufacturing facilities and scaling up production into millions of cars. Based on many Internet posted interviews that I've watched over the last several months, space exploration is Elon's strongest passion. According to Elon he was reluctant to become CEO at Tesla.

So in the next 5 - 8 years (or sooner?), when the NUMMI plant will get up to full capacity of approximately 500,000 cars, Elon will probably concentrate on Space X. After all, his main goal is to promote EV revolution, and by that time it will be well underway. I also think that a sale of Tesla to one of the big boys will not be out of the question. There could be a bidding war, and Elon might get billions to spend on his space exploration missions.

Mark K | March 13, 2013

Amazing how threads morph. Did anyone else notice how Fisker's implosion turned into TM speculation?

Quite improbable that Elon will be anything but firmly at the wheel of Tesla for the foreseeable event horizon. TM is now the catbird seat for the EV revolution. The field is so rich, and so young, it's inconceivable Elon would give up his chair.

The news here is about Henrik Fisker. His company will soon come to an end. There is no joy in another man's hardship, but there is a sober object lesson here.

The market is very unkind to those who sell sizzle instead of steak.

Henrik was a poser, who even betrayed Elon by pretending to offer his design services, only to study his strategy. Now the market has handed him his just deserts.

It is Elon who is the authentic protagonist in the EV play.

STARR X | March 13, 2013


alcassfast | March 13, 2013

@nicu... you beat me to it.

BYT | March 13, 2013

@Mark K, everything somehow ends up effecting something else in the market, it's the butterfly effect. Hell, I was still scratching my head when TSLA dropped because of Boeing's batteries that aren't even remotely being used the same way or even the same brand as Tesla's but, like I said, the butterfly effect.

That's why Anal-ists have such a profound effect on the market by projecting or dejecting a stock to their advantage, they just have to say it's an opinion and not a fact or that they are just speculating. Is it legal, for the most part, but it's not ethical for sure!

FLsportscarenth... | March 13, 2013

I think Tesla would have done well even if Fisker survived and held on to its high end Hollywood niche. Fisker never had the right stuff to grow in to the mass market, likely the Nina would likely have been a big flop, ugly as the Nissan Juke and 'normal people' are less forgiving with major quality problems.

Competition is a good thing even if it is weak and just points out how great your product is...

As for competition now in BEVs - Tesla versus the Leaf and iMEV hahahaha

PHEVs - until the Gen III arrives, Ampera/Volt is competitive on price and value for the money, disregarding price, forget about it!

Even if Elon reduces his daily involvement with Tesla after launch of Model X or after Gen III, he will not likely pull out like Hendrik, I think it will be like he keeps a hand in SolarCity but lets others run it day to day.

Long term, SpaceX is where the excitement will be...

jbunn | March 13, 2013

Well, its sad, but I dont believe hybrids are a smart idea, nor would I ever buy one. Go ice, or go bev, butdont overengineer the car.

jat | March 13, 2013

@jbunn - before the LEAF and Model S, I drove a Camry Hybrid for 5 years. I think non-plugin hybrids are just an implementation detail of an efficient gas-powered car, much like a new valve technology or something. PHEVs, if they have a large enough battery like the Volt, fill the role of an EV for people who aren't comfortable with EV infrastructure or who can't afford a large-battery EV. As such, I think those are simply interim solutions until the infrastructure exists, as they aren't the best at either role.

BYT | March 13, 2013

I agree with, the problem with an ICE (the one of many problems) is all those moving parts, and with all moving parts they with time will fail. 200+ was a quick Google look up in the number of moving parts. Add more to that Hybrid!!

"Their are many of different types of moving parts. Crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons, intake valves, exhaust valves, camshaft, lifters, push rods, rocker arms, oil pump, fuel pump, timing chain, distributor and distributor parts, and it also depends on what you consider moving. Crankshaft pulley, alternator pulley, alternator, water pump, power steering pump and pulley, fan, thermostat, carburetor and parts. All together there are over 200+ moving parts in a combustion engine."

Model S, much MUCH fewer and therefore more reliable and efficient. I don't say go ICE or go BEV or go home, I say go BEV or don't go at all... :)

jat | March 13, 2013

@BYT - if you are going to have an ICE, a hybrid like Toyota's Synergy Drive drastically reduces the complexity of the transmission (the hardware side anyway, the software gets much more complex but that can be more readily tested and updated), so at least their is a payoff for the complexity of adding electric components to an ICE.

FLsportscarenth... | March 13, 2013


PHEV are definately a good step forward for those unwilling or unable to go full BEV. Going PHEV is way better than staying with ICE!

'Light hybrids' are a waste of money as it is over-engineering that does not at least free you from bondage to the pump... PHEV engineering at least gives you more options, and that is not a bad thing.

Brian H | March 13, 2013

Mark K;

Wandering in the desert with his just desserts? ;)

DouglasR | March 13, 2013

Brian, if deserts can be hot, dry, and even cruel, why can't they be just?

Brian H | March 13, 2013

I guess they are. Henrik needs to read "Ozymandius".
For convenience, and because it's great poetry, here it is:

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert...
Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
My name is Ozymandius, King of Kings,
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains.
Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Brian H | March 13, 2013


Nothing beside remains.
Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

DouglasR | March 13, 2013

Only it's Ozymandias.

LK | March 13, 2013

Forgive me for saying this, but... fuck him. Henrik Fisker is the bane of this automotive revolution and scummy opportunist. Not only did he try stealing industry secrets from Tesla, He mislead the us government and the american people. The Karma was supposed to be an american built car and it was supposed to go head-on with tesla. Instead, a finnish company was hired to build the car with a DOE loan funding. Valmet Autmotive has no repercussions with with building cost because Fisker is writing the check with DOE money.

On another note, A123 battery failures were a fluke. I do feel bad that their battery system has susceptibility to failure and financial issues after the fact. No one should confuse Fisker and A123 as the same company.

jat | March 13, 2013

@LK - the legal case against Fisker for stealing secrets from Tesla was dismissed, and if the result is any indication, whatever he stole (if anything) was the wrong stuff :).

LK | March 13, 2013


Ah, you got me sport! You're right, I guess it must have been the wrong secrets! Ha!

sagebrushnw | March 13, 2013

The original Department of Energy line of credit to Fisker was $529 million but only drew $193 million from the DOE program before being put on hold. Of that amount, $169 million was earmarked for development of the Karma.

The bulk of the money was originally set to go toward a less expensive line of cars (including the announced Atlantic) that were set to be manufactured at a former General Motors factory in Wilmington, Delaware.

The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan was originally approved in 2010. The Department of Energy froze the loan after Fisker failed to meet certain development and sales milestones for its $103,000 Karma sedan.

LK | March 14, 2013

^^^ What he said...

Brian H | March 14, 2013

I don't have a first edition printed copy, but the web seems ambivalent. I get about 50:50 sites spelling it each way. So you may be right, or not. I dunno.

Mark K | March 14, 2013

Brian - of all people, I was certain you would know this!



just deserts (plural only)

(idiomatic) A punishment or reward that is considered to be what the recipient deserved.

It may appear that they're getting ahead by cheating, but they'll get their just deserts in the end.

Usage notes

Deserts here is the plural of desert, meaning "that which one deserves". It is rarely used with this meaning outside this phrase.

The spelling just desserts is commonly seen but is incorrect. The misspelling is occasionally used deliberately as a play on words in the names of restaurants etc.


Clearly, the non-sweetened form is the appropriate phrase for this guy.

Henrik had it coming.

Sanjuro | March 14, 2013

Moral of the day: if you do something with questionable ethics, the last thing you want is to call it Karma, because we all know what a b*tch it is and one day it'll come back to bite you where the sun don't shine.

Meanwhile over at, all those people in that great Egyptian river are calling him the Steve Jobs of the automotive industry and wondering when he'll return to lead his company to greater glory...

BYT | March 14, 2013

@Sanjuro, that is what makes the whole thing so freakingly funny and ironic! I don't get the Nile River reference though? :)

Brian H | March 14, 2013

Mark K;
Well, I'll be swornhoggled. I've been misusing that all these decades. I'm grateful for the correctification.

Salman | March 14, 2013

@BYT, "denial isn't just a river in Egypt."

Mark K | March 14, 2013

Breaking News-

Former Fisker Automotive Chairman Henrik Fisker joins former New York Times journalist John Broder to start oil-industry consultancy named "".


Broder fired by Fisker after alleged inaccuracies about the new company's mission in interviews with Rush Limbaugh and Bill Mahr.

Epilogue: shutters operations after Fisker resigns. John Broder joins a new ethics review board of London tabloid "The Daily Mirror", and Henrik Fisker announces his appointment to Exxon-Mobil's alternative energy planning committee, along with ex-blogger John Petersen.

(Parody hereby acknowledged).

DouglasR | March 14, 2013

@Brian - re the poem: I posted quickly, from memory, and then went back to the web to check. I was surprised to find that it is spelled "Ozymandius" in many instances on Google. But if you actually check those sites, you will find that, for most of them, the title is written "Ozymandius," but the text of the poem says, "My name is Ozymandias." Somewhere in this lurks a worthy dissertation topic, don't you think?

Sanjuro | March 14, 2013


This must surely be the only auto blog in the world with an exposition of Percy Bysshe Shelley's famous sonnet!

I am amazed how a discussion of Henrik Fisker's karma morphed into Ozymandias, but I assure you that this is the original spelling of the poem and the name of the Egyptian king it referred to back when I learned it back in high school.

I have never seen it spelled with a 'u', which suggests a Latin origin, but the name itself is from the Greek. The actual king is better known to us as Ramesses II.

I suspect it's an Internet typo, perpetuated thanks to the vagaries of search engines, and now set in stone for posterity, maybe to last even longer than the original.

Check this page on Wikipedia for how it has been used:

@Brian H
Swornhoggled - this is a wonderful sounding word I'd never seen before but I realized later that there is an actual word you probably meant, 'hornswoggled', 'get the better of (someone) by cheating or deception'

But what you did was make a Spoonerism of it!

Brian H | March 14, 2013


rmitchum | March 15, 2013

And that, ladies and gentleman, is why I lurk a few hours each week and "gray out" all of the threads in this terrific forum.
(Now where is that "Test-Please Ignore")

drp | March 15, 2013

Glad Bieber bought a Fisker! Sign of things to come?