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Fisker Automotive Names Former Volt Exec Tony Posawatz CEO

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The electric and hybrid car industry is an exciting place to be, even within the bureaucracies of the major carmakers. It's still an emerging, rapidly developing field. For the smaller companies trying to make inroads to the auto business, it can be even more frantic, as in the case of Fisker Automotive, which has just named its second CEO this year.

The new appointee, as discussed in detail by GreenCarReports' John Voelcker, is Tony Posawatz, who was, until now, at General Motors, where he was credited as the "father" of the Chevrolet Volt, serving as the vehicle's Product Line Director. Posawatz retired just six weeks ago from a 32-year career at GM.

Posawatz's appointment to CEO replaces Tom LaSorda, who took the post just this February. LaSorda won't be staying with Fisker.

For those boggled by the perspective shift necessary to move from a global automotive giant to a welterweight startup like Fisker, consider this: The Fisker Karma is the only other series hybrid (or extended-range electric vehicle/EREV) on the market besides the Chevy Volt. The similarities end at the powertrain level, however, as the Fisker is in a decidedly different market, with its twin 200-horsepower electric motors, 20 mpg rating, $106,000 price tag, and sleek and sultry lines.

Also unlike the Volt, the Karma has faced a rather large number of hurdles to its reputation for reliability and quality, with a recall and two service upgrades, a pair of fires, just 1,000 cars built, and a number of other issues on the road to full production. The most recent of the fires has dominated Fisker's air time for the past week, with the company's denials of any fault in the battery pack their only response so far.

Posawatz's job, then, as he steps to the company's helm, will be as much about righting the listing progress of the Karma itself as advancing future products like the Atlantic (nee Project Nina).

For a complete analysis of the move, including a look at Posawatz's suitability for his new role at Fisker, read the full report at GreenCarReports.
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