Fisker Automotive has put its U.S. workforce on furlough this week as the troubled automaker seeks to save cash.
The company has spent recent months seeking a buyer, and hasn’t produced a car since July, following the bankruptcy of its battery supplier, A123 Systems.
According to Reuters, Fisker released a statement playing down the furlough: “This is a common practice, particularly in the automotive industry, to manage costs and operations based on current activity levels and commercial requirements.”
Fisker had sought bids from two Chinese automakers, the state-owned Dongfeng Motor Group, and rival Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, earlier this year.
Geely was said to be highest bidder, beating Dongfeng’s reported $350 million bid for an 85 per cent stake, but pulled out earlier this month over concerns that Fisker’s loan obligations to the U.S. government made the bidding process “too complicated and too risky”.
Fisker’s Department of Energy loans total $529 million, an instalment of which is due in late April. Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisherhas declined to reveal the amount of the loan repayment. The DoE loan system has proved troublesome for Fisker, denied installments over delays in bringing the Karma range-extended electric car to market.
March also saw Fisker founder Henrik Fisker make a shock departure from the company, citing major disagreements over the company’s business strategy.
A recent interview with Fisker revealed he thought it would have been “wrong to stay” with the company, and said his disagreements didn’t relate directly to the company’s sale.
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