Struggling hybrid vehicle maker Fisker Automotive Inc., which furloughed 200 of its U.S. employees in March to conserve cash, fired three-quarters of its workforce on Friday.
Fisker is keeping about 50 senior managers to help sell company assets, Reuters reports, citing an unidentified source. The news service says the company is trying to renegotiate a $10 million payment due on April 22 on its $192 million loan from the Dept. of Energy.
Sources tell Reuters that Fisker has at least $30 million cash, plus the $15 million it is owed under a settlement last week with bankrupt battery supplier A123 Systems Inc.
The company has retained law firm Kirkland & Ellis to prepare for a possible bankruptcy filing, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cites anonymous sources. Fisker executives also are continuing their year-long search for a buyer or strategic investor.
Last month the company’s two leading suitors, China’s Dongfeng Motor and Zhejiang Geely, abandoned their competing bids for a majority stake.
Newly fired employees are suing Fisker, alleging that it fired them without the required 60 days’ advance notice and severance packages.