Fisker Misplaced Millions of Dollars, Delivered Cars Without Taking Payment: Report

Making new cars is only part of what’s hard about selling them.

byJames Gilboy|
2023 Fisker Ocean SUV


Time is a flat circle, much like the drain Henrik Fisker's automotive dreams are swirling for a second time. Embattled EV maker Fisker has paused production and been booted off the New York Stock Exchange as it faces bankruptcy, which it hopes steep price cuts will prevent. How it got here, of course, is reportedly through missteps just as extreme—by allegedly failing to keep track of its money, leading to the misplacement of millions of dollars.

Speaking to anonymous sources inside Fisker, TechCrunch reports the company kicked off sales without setting up many of the back-end logistics to support them. One major area Fisker reportedly neglected was its accounting department, which was unable to keep track of the company's sales transactions. Millions of dollars went missing, and customer cars were reportedly sometimes delivered without any payments being made beforehand. Naturally, this threw off Fisker's inventory tracking too.

2023 Fisker Ocean. Fisker

As a result, Fisker reportedly didn't know how much money it had actually brought in, forcing it to perform an internal audit that started in December. That audit apparently concluded recently, but until it did, Fisker was unable to supply adequate information for an external auditor to prepare its annual financial report. As Fisker put it in a March filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it "lacks a sufficient number of professionals with an appropriate level of accounting knowledge, training, and experience to appropriately analyze, record, and disclose accounting matters timely and accurately."

Another knock-on effect was the company's alleged failure to make payments to multiple states' DMVs, which led to customers being stuck on repeatedly expiring temporary tags. As of February, Fisker reportedly faced a registration backlog that extended as far back as August.

"Paperwork being collected wasn't always being collected in full, or sent to the same places," one of the sources reportedly told TechCrunch.

"Checks were not cashed in a timely manner or just lost altogether," another reportedly added. "We were often scrambling to find checks, credit card receipts and any wired funds a few months after a vehicle was sold."

2023 Fisker Ocean. Fisker

While Fisker has reportedly all but caught up on its transaction history, it now faces existential threats from multiple other directions. The company failed to secure a bailout by Nissan, and is now in dire need of cash to simply continue operating. It's behind on its sales goals, and reportedly has poor customer support to manage quality problems with its electric Ocean SUV—whose production is on hold. It's too soon to say Fisker's fate is sealed, but it sure looks like Fisker is Fusked.

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