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Fisker Lays Off A Dozen More Workers At Delaware Factory

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On: Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 12:12PM | By: David Walter

Fisker Lays Off A Dozen More Workers At Delaware Factory

I remember first hearing that Fisker (maker of the innovative, high-performance $100,000 Karma) would be building their hybrid-luxury-sports cars at the former General Motors plant in Wilmington, Delaware. For a car enthusiast born and raised in the second smallest state in the nation, this was exciting news – and not because of the size and obscurity of the "Diamond State" (well, maybe a little).

Growing up there, everyone knew someone who worked in the auto industry – either at the GM plant in Newport or the Chrysler plant in Newark. My grandfather, two uncles, an aunt, and various friends and neighbors worked most of their lives at the Newark Chrysler plant. However, in 2008, the plant (where the Durango had been built since 1997) closed due to a slowing economy and demand for gas-guzzling SUVs.

Similarly, GM closed its factory in Newport/Wilmington in 2009 after building cars for decades.

So, you can see why car manufacturing’s return to Delaware came as such as an exciting surprise – and why recent news about Fisker is equally disappointing.

Delaware Online reports that another dozen workers were laid off last Friday. You may remember 26 workers had already been laid off after losing government funding for failing to meet milestones.

The result is a now “absolutely empty” facility according to one unfortunate former employee. Fisker has removed all of the factory’s used equipment but has yet to install new equipment to build the newly announced Atlantic hybrid sedan.

Perhaps Fisker is – as Brian DiSabatino, president of the Wilmington construction firm EDiS hired to oversee renovations to the plant, put it – planning “to hit the pause button, reorganize and come back.” Time will tell, but hopefully Fisker – under the new leadership of CEO Tom LaSorda – will bounce back and make use of the Wilmington plant and experienced car-building Delawareans.

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