Henrik Fisker has left the Fisker Automotive company this week, citing “several major disagreements” with management over company strategy.
The resignation from the role of executive chairman was confirmed in a written statement from Henrik himself, but did not provide specific details of these disagreements.
Fisker Automotive is the producer of the Karma plug-in hybrid luxury sedan, which is marketed across US and European markets.
Although putting a brave face on it, Fisker’s resignation will be yet another blow to the company.
It has certainly had its share of teething problems.
Early on, delays dogged the Karma’s 2011 introduction; following this was a damaging recall to prevent spontaneous fire, and, later, in July 2012, production was brought to a halt after the bankruptcy of battery supplier A123.
(Production of the Karma is yet to resume despite A123 now being under Chinese ownership.)
The latest in a run of bad luck was the loss of around 300 Karmas last October, destroyed while parked in a New Jersey dock during Hurricane Sandy - a significant proportion of the circa-2000 units produced to date.
The company has also yet to launch its new Atlantic model, with production now expected to begin sometime in 2014 or 2015, if it can secure the necessary funding.
Fisker Automotive is currently seeking investors to shore up its future, with Chinese carmaker and Volvo-owner Geely reported to have made a takeover bid.
This aside, a statement from Fisker Automotive aims to instill confidence in the company’s long-term viability.
"(Fisker Automotive) has a strong and experienced management team and its strategy has not changed,” the statement read.
“Mr Fisker’s departure is not expected to impact the Company’s pursuit of strategic partnerships and financing to support Fisker Automotive’s continued progress.”
Danish-born designer Fisker worked with BMW and Aston Martin before co-founding Fisker Automotive in 2007, ahead of the unveiling of the Karma concept in 2008 and eventual production in mid-2011.
Development of the Karma was greatly aided by a US Government Energy Department loan of US$529 million (AU$510 million) in 2009.