E.V. Maker Fisker Files for Bankruptcy as Cash Runs Short

Fisker filed for bankruptcy protection late on Monday, the latest start-up in the electric vehicle industry to fall short after raising large amounts of money from investors with lofty expectations.

Fisker’s bankruptcy filing, roughly one year after it delivered its first vehicle and almost four years after it went public, came after months of doubts about its financial viability. The start-up repeatedly cut production targets for its flagship Ocean S.U.V. and faced escalating financial turmoil, warning of “substantial doubt” that it could continue as a going concern in February, pausing production in March and defaulting on a loan repayment in May.

Talks with another automaker about a potential investment broke down earlier this year, and the company’s beaten-down stock, once worth several billion dollars, was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange for “abnormally low” price levels.

Fisker had delivered over 6,400 vehicles by mid-April, it said. It outsourced production and emphasized its design and software, such as a rotating dashboard screen.

Fisker is looking to sell its assets, which its bankruptcy filing listed as worth $500 million to $1 billion. The company listed liabilities of $100 million to $500 million, with Adobe and Google among its largest creditors.

“Like other companies in the electric vehicle industry, we have faced various market and macroeconomic headwinds that have impacted our ability to operate efficiently,” Fisker said in a statement announcing its Chapter 11 petition, filed in Delaware.

Demand for electric vehicles, while brisk, has disappointed auto executives, raising questions about heavy investments in new models and factories, even at market leaders like Tesla. Intensifying competition from Chinese automakers is also a worry for Western executives.

Fisker was among the E.V. start-ups that raised billions of dollars on the promise of rapid growth, making their market debuts by merging with special purpose acquisition companies in 2020 and 2021. Some of those firms, including Lordstown Motors, Arrival and Proterra have also filed for bankruptcy. Others, like Canoo and Nikola, have struggled financially.

Fisker’s filing is the second time its founder, Henrik Fisker, has overseen a car company that has gone bankrupt. His previous venture, Fisker Automotive, filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2013.

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