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Why The Fisker Karma Was The Wrong Car At The Wrong Time

Think back to 2007, when the war on terror was in full swing, the housing bubble had yet to burst, and venture capitalists couldn’t get enough of green tech startups. And a small automotive company was founded in by automotive designer Henrik Fisker and his business partner Bernhard Koehler.

From the start, Fisker Automotive had grandiose goals: to build and sell a luxury plug-in hybrid sports sedan. The car was supposed to be first plug-in hybrid for people who loved cars, not just the planet.

Fast f=””>just six years, and Fisker is struggling to survive. As Gigaom reported last week, it owes its landlord $174,000 in rent for the month of April alone, and more than $535,000 in website design fees. And that’s before you take into account the Federal Lawsuit it’s facing for violating the Warn Act and laying off 160 of its workers before Easter without the mandatory notice period.
It’s the Car

It would be easy to echo the analysis of many industry observers who believe Fisker’s is attributable to a confluence of issues: lack of tech-based intellectual property, the wrong choice of A123 systems as its battery company, natural disasters, and a touch economic climate.

Of course, these problems occurred. But the tougher reality of Fisker’s shorticomings is much more simple: the Karma isn’t an early-adopter’s car.


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