Fisker Automotive Inc., the Anaheim maker of luxury hybrid vehicles, has cycled through to its third chief executive in a year.
Tony Posawatz helped lead development of Chevrolet’s Volt plug-in hybrid for six years, serving as vehicle line director before retiring from General Motors in July.
Now, he’ll head up Fisker, which makes pricey, sporty plug-ins such as the Karma, favored by pop star Justin Bieber for joyrides. The company has been wracked recently by stalled model development, recalls, missed deadlines and employee layoffs.
Last week, one of its $100,000 Karma models caught fire in a Woodside, Calif. parking lot, the company said. No one was hurt in the incident, which Fisker said had nothing to do with the car’s lithium-ion battery pack.
The company has also tried to plug holes from the $529-million government loan that was partially withheld earlier this year after the company lagged on Karma development.
Posawatz succeeds Tom LaSorda, a former Chrysler executive who in February took over the CEO role from company co-founder Henrik Fisker.
LaSorda said in a statement that Posawatz is “the perfect CEO for Fisker,” calling him “a real product guy for a product-driven company.”
Fisker, now executive chairman, said Posawatz’s skills will be key to maximizing the Karma’s potential and also bringing future models, such as the Atlantic, to market.
"His depth of knowledge and experience in this innovative field of new technology means that he is one of the world's most experienced leaders in vehicle electrification technology and the plug-in ecosystem,” Fisker said in a statement.