Fisker Atlantic concept

Fisker Automotive, maker of the sleek Karma plug-in hybrid sedan, is going through some difficult times. According to Reuters, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Dongfeng Motor Corp have pulled out from bidding for a majority stake in the troubled American carmaker.

Dongfeng had previously intended to move Fisker production to China; now unnamed sources have told the news agency that the Chinese firms were deterred by Fisker’s loan obligations to the US Department of Energy (DoE), which include the restoring of capacity and jobs at Fisker’s plant in Delaware.

Sources have also told The Guardian that on Friday, about 160 employees were let go. The publication adds that Fisker has not produced a car since July and has been looking for a financial backer in order to continue developing its second product, the Atlantic (2012 NY show-debuting concept pictured above) and put it into production.

In 2009, the DoE gave Fisker a US$529 million loan; this was frozen two years later partly because of the carmaker’s delays in launching the Karma. A123 Systems, the supplier of the Karma’s lithium-ion batteries, then went bankrupt. If that wasn’t enough, founder Henrik Fisker abruptly resigned last month over several disagreements with executive management.

The Guardian further reports that the struggling carmaker is open to selling off pieces of the company, including intellectual property rights for its plug-in electric hybrid technology. Unless some form of miracle funding is found soon, sadly it seems the writing is on the wall for the California-based firm.