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EV startup files for bankruptcy protection, now what?

  • EV startup Fisker filed for bankruptcy
  • Fisker hasn’t said what kind of ongoing support will be available for owners
  • Ocean EV resale, warranty work, parts, and support might have just become non-existent, though it’s unclear at this stage

Henrik Fisker’s second attempt at building an electric car company hit a roadblock on Monday with the filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a Delaware court by Los Angeles-based Fisker.

The company released a statement blaming “various market and macroeconomic headwinds,” and said it is in talks with creditors about debtor-in-possession financing and the sale of remaining assets.

In court documents seen by Reuters, Fisker estimated its remaining assets at between $500 million and $1 billion, and its liabilities at between $100 million and $500 million.

A previous EV startup by the name of Fisker, also founded and led by Henrik Fisker, went bust in 2013, with its remaining assets sold to Wanxiang, a Chinese battery supplier that later revived the company and rebranded it Karma.

The new Fisker was founded in 2016 and managed to start deliveries of an electric compact SUV called the Ocean in 2023.

Fisker managed to build approximately 10,000 examples of the Ocean at an Austrian plant operated by contract manufacturer Magna Steyr before production was halted in March. Reuters reported that around 4,700 were delivered to customers.

Fisker already slashed prices on the Ocean in recent months and remaining stock may be offered with further discounts, though there are major caveats consumers should be aware of when buying a vehicle from a bankrupt automaker.

Beyond the obvious drop in resale value, getting warranty repairs, parts, or servicing may be hard to come by or completely nonexistent.

In some cases, companies can buy up spare parts or take over servicing for the scuttled brand, and continue supporting owners for years to come. This happened with DeLorean.

At the time of writing, Fisker hasn’t said what support will be available for Ocean owners.

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